How to Screw Up Right
Earlier this year, tennis star Maria Sharapova was caught using performance-enhancing drugs during the Australian Open. What came next, however, shocked everyone who still cares about tennis:
She admitted it. Tennis is applauding Sharapova at the same time they are admonishing her. The New Yorker called it, "What's wrong with the game, but also what's right."
When you think of steroids in baseball, who do you think of immediately? Certainly, Barry Bonds would be on the list. Roger Clemons, too. A-Rod. Yup. Mark Maguire? Check. Those four are forever tied to the period of America's Pastime that is known as The Steroid Era.
But what about Andy Pettitte? The finger of accusation was pointed at him as well. Did you know that? So, then why isn’t one of the most effective postseason pitchers in the game listed alongside his teammates and those others?
Because he admitted it.
The story came. The disappointment was cast. And the story died like a lazy fly ball to short left. History will remember Pettitte differently as a result.
When you screw up a job, your initial reaction is likely to find out what happened and to get the ship righted. As a sales rep, you are concerned about losing the account and hopeful that this too shall pass. Your explanation to the client is complete, honest, and accurate and fixes have been made. Your optimistic self believes that it will all work out. But without a clear and upfront admission of error, the cloud will remain over your head.
Remember, everyone messes up. The mark of a good rep and a good vendor is how they respond.
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Bill Farquharson is a respected industry expert and highly sought after speaker known for his energetic and entertaining presentations. Bill engages his audiences with wit and wisdom earned as a 40-year print sales veteran while teaching new ideas for solving classic sales challenges. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault, are available at salesvault.pro.