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How to Recover from Botched Client Interactions
Episode 2856th April 2022 • Same Side Selling Podcast • Same Side Selling Podcast
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Welcome to the Same Side Selling podcast. I am your host, Ian Altman. We've all had horrible client interactions that we try to wrack our brain figuring out how to recover, maybe we had a project that went awry. Nowadays, we could have supply chain issues, maybe we forgot to send a proposal, maybe we had a typo in a message, we forgot to include something that was necessary for our client. There are a myriad of different issues that we could face and the challenge is, how do you recover from those situations? And the first thing that you need to recognize is that, in most cases, our clients are somewhat understanding. If they feel like it was an honest error, if it was a reasonable oversight, most people are pretty forgiving. Here's what they're not forgiving about though, they're not forgiving about people taking no responsibility or accountability for their own actions. So first, let me tell you what not to do. First, you don't say "well, what we agreed to wasn't what we were originally expecting so now that things are different and now that we fully understand it, we can't really do what we originally said. Don't go there, that doesn't work. The second thing we can't do is we can't blame somebody else. So we can't say, Oh well, these other people, we were subbing this out to someone else, and they dropped the ball on it because your client didn't engage you to sub something out to somebody else. They didn't ask you to do something so you would hand it to someone else who dropped the ball. It's your responsibility. It's like when you go to a restaurant, you go to a restaurant, and everyone's meal comes out except for one person. The server can either say, Oh, the kitchen messed up, they don't know what they're doing. It's not me, which has you questioning the kitchen, and whether or not they're competent people in the restaurant at all. Or they can say, I'm so sorry, this happened, let me take care of it, let me make sure that your meal gets right out. I'll be back in just a minute. Let me see what happened. And that way, they're taking responsibility for it. And then even if the kitchen messed up, the server can say, you know, I look back something didn't look perfectly right, they're remaking it. What would you like me to do? Would you like me to keep everyone else's stuff warm? Would you like me to fire everyone's dishes now? What can I do to make sure you have the best experience? In the meantime, can I bring you a side dish, a salad, a soup, something like that. It's the same thing in business. So if you forget to include something, the first thing you have to do is just acknowledge, hey, I meant to include this. I forgot to include it, I apologize. Let me send it to you right away. The most frustrating thing, when you're on the receiving end of somebody who dropped the ball is just that simple gesture of not accepting responsibility. And we see it all the time in different businesses, where people point the fingers at somebody else. This also goes for salespeople. And here's what I mean, if you're saying, hey, this deals gonna happen the end of the month, and it doesn't happen, you need to have your finger on the pulse and say, You know what, I didn't notice this, I didn't notice that about the deal. And that's why the deal didn't happen at the end of the month. It's not well, the client decided to do this. Look, that's our job as sellers to know what's going on and navigate the different dynamics. And if every time something goes sideways, you blame somebody else, then you've just become a really great storyteller. But perhaps you haven't figured out what's really moving the needle for your clients. Because if you did know what was going on with your clients, you would be able to dead on say, here's what's going to happen, unless these two conditions come up, in which case, then it might be delayed by two weeks. But typically, what are people in sales say, Oh, the deal is going to happen at the end of this month. And then when it doesn't happen the end of this month? What do they say, oh, it's gonna be the end of next month. And then when that doesn't happen, surprise, surprise. It's the end of the next month. And ultimately, we keep kicking the can down the road. And that's when sales leaders start to have a lack of confidence because they say, Well, I don't know if this is real or not. Just like for your clients, people in sales, you need to think of it almost like you're a project manager. What a project manager does is a project manager seeks out risks. And a product manager says, "Here are all the things that could go wrong", we could send the wrong information, we can send something after a deadline, we could not be responsive to what the client was asking for, we could drop the ball on the project itself. Okay, now that we know all the things that can go wrong, what can we do to make sure that those things don't happen in this project? How can we mitigate that risk throughout the project, and it could be the project which is the decision to buy our stuff. It could be the project that the client needs to actually execute and implement internally, so that they can make a decision. No matter how you look at it, it's our responsibility. So what I want you to consider is this is that next time something doesn't go right, if you catch yourself saying, well, it's someone else's fault. Somebody didn't do this, this person didn't do this or that. Instead look at the mirror and say, What can I have done differently? And how can I take responsibility for this? The reality is, if your state doesn't come out, right in a restaurant, and the server says, I'm so sorry, that happened. Let me make let me get another one made. I apologize. The client doesn't think the guest in the restaurant doesn't think that you made it if you're the server, but they appreciate the fact that you're taking responsibility, and your clients and business will too. So next time you get that inkling to say, "Oh, it was this person or that person", point at yourself take responsibility, and you'll be much better off with your clients. If you have topics you'd like to hear about on the Same Side Selling podcast just drop me a note to Ian@Ianaltman.com. So Long.

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