Acts of Contrition - Say You’re Sorry Already
Some people have no problem making them, and some people would rather stand in the corner and be beaten in the head with a stick than admit they have EVER made a mistake. And still others lack the self awareness to even understand that they just may have been involved in some kind of act or situation in which any damage was done. Hmmm...Which one are you?
If you have any kind of difficulty with making apologies, please read this blog carefully because there will be plenty of times in your life when an apology is warranted. And whether you want to deliver it or not, the apology will go a long way to repairing and even preventing damage. If you look back on your career thus far, there are probably some situations that would have been more easily dealt with had you just said you were sorry.
Here’s the tricky part. You just might have to LIE. Maybe you were not really the one who made the mistake. Maybe it was your desktop guy who read the work order wrong, or your CSR that wrote the date down wrong, or the estimator who missed a decimal point. But, YOU are the captain of that particular ship, and as far as your customer is concerned, you represent the whole company. And the customer needs to hear an apology from someone, so it better be you.
Say it with me, folks...
“I am SO sorry that this happened.” Come on Fonzie, you can do it.
What is more important, though, is what comes after the apology.
- “Here is what we are doing about it.”
- “Here is how things will be changing in the future.”
- “As a token of our respect for your business, we are...”
And then you need to do it.
Also, there may be just as many times when the apology is an INTERNAL thing. Did you dump a huge job on the pressman at 4 p.m. on Friday and now he gets to work overtime while you head to the beach for the weekend? Here, an apology, a six pack AND tickets to the ball game might be warranted.
I’ll leave you with this...
Ask yourself, “How does my customer feel if I don’t say I’m sorry? What will they say to my competitor the next time he calls, especially if he calls the day we have royally screwed something up?”
You’ll be vulnerable. And if you think saying you’re sorry makes you feel vulnerable, well, how does losing a top 10 client feel? Compared to that, a little groveling is EASY!
Blogger, author, consultant, coach and all around evangelist for the graphic arts industry, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include sales and marketing coaching, enabling clients to find engagement strategies that work for them and mentoring the next generation of sales superstars.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league. She is also the mother of two sets of twins under the age of ten, so she fears nothing.