Oh no! The order went wrong, the client is not happy! Take a moment, a brief moment, to cringe and move on!
Errors present a wonderful opportunity to show your character and create a pivotal point in any relationship. Sales are no exception.
The minute something goes wrong, take charge and contact your client. Forget email and reach out in a personal way with a phone call. I’ve said it before, email just doesn’t do authenticity any justice. First apologize for the error and recognize the implications this has on the individual. Perhaps this potentially tarnishes their reputation with their boss or their clients, but not for long!
Error rectification means tackling the issue head on. Admit the error, taking ownership even if it’s not your fault. It means accepting the challenge with an upbeat attitude and providing solutions! Make sure your client feels that you’re in control and you’re handling the issue. You’re creating a “good news” story for them and need some time to work on a brilliant and prompt outcome.
Sometimes error rectification means losing money in the short-term but gaining a client for life in the long run. One of our clients recently received some defective goods. The supplier was at fault but I stepped up to the plate, took ownership and took a hit of about $3000 for the error. I didn’t doubt my client’s concerns, but rather fully justified their feelings and went to work on a more than acceptable solution. By doing so, I lost three thousand dollars on the initial order but shortly thereafter secured an ecstatic client by replacing the goods with a higher value product and closing a $47,000.00 deal that same week!
Your clients need to know you have their best interests in mind. Your insurance on errors puts the buyer at ease and allows for a fruitful and prosperous long-term partnership.
As Jeffrey Gitomer would say, go for the “wow”. Most people don’t and most people lose clients when things go wrong, but what a shame to waste a wonderful relationship changing opportunity. Hooray!