I made a dumb mistake this week. My client brought my goof to my attention, and I knew instantly I owed an apology. Rather than having an initial impulse to defend me, instead, I thought about the ramification of my action, the impact on them and prepared myself for the inevitable conversation! When the call came, I answered the phone and said, “should I get ready for my flogging now”? My client laughed, and I could feel the tension break. He explained to me very professionally his view and perspective. I took a deep breath, cleared my mind, listened, acknowledged, and …we moved on. His parting words for me, “thank you for your quick response, and we are in a good space.” I am so grateful for his understanding.
Making a sincere apology is a solid and resilient sales skill and deepens relationships. When problems arise, people gear up for a fight. They expect to be argued with, denied, and told why they are wrong. Defensiveness and not listening will cost you a relationship. Making a mistake and being called out for it is your chance to demonstrate emotional intelligence. It is showing respect for your relationships and being “ok” with being wrong. A sincere apology short circuits the problem, makes the defensiveness go away. It makes you memorable and helps ensure that you have a future relationship.
In the end, we all have to ask, “would you rather be right or be in a relationship?”
Enjoy making an apology when you should. It’s cathartic and professionally affirming. It also helps reminds your clients that they made a safe choice for you.
Todd Cohen, CSP, has been inspiring and motivating audiences for over 12 years, teaching them to sell themselves to achieve goals and incredible success. His sales culture keynotes and workshops are in demand from audiences from every background, including salespeople! Delivering approximately 85 appearances every year worldwide, Todd leaves people with a story to tell and feeling great about themselves!