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Business people win when they apologize

 
 
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Still Waters
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2004 1:40 am    Post subject: Business people win when they apologize Reply with quote

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Business people win when they apologize

Researchers found that people who are wronged in a business transaction may be more likely to say they would reconcile if the offender offers a sincere apology particularly if the offender takes personal blame for the misdeed.

While it seems common sense that apologies would help smooth a bruised business relationship, such messages of regret are not common enough...

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(I wasn't sure where to post this, but I selected "sales and marketing" because customer relationships are the goal of sales and marketing. Is this okay?)
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DBeavers
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2004 5:03 am    Post subject: I once heard a speaker whose topic was, Buying your mistakes Reply with quote

He point was since you made the mistake, you own it. Once you recognize your ownership, what can you do to either correct the problem that you created if correction is possible, or make amends for those mistakes that can't be corrected.

Example #1: Incorrect product was delivered. Apologize and get the correct product ASAP, and don't charge anything for the extra costs involved. Naturally, a sincere apology is also in order.

Example #2: Delivery date was missed, with no possible way to get the product delivered for scheduled event. Actual correction isn't possible, so find any possible way to make amends, in addition to the apology.

For #2, on one recent case, I offered to cancel the order for 500 pieces, and instead order 250 or more at my expense, and pay the postage to mail one to every attendee that would likely have received one. I'm still waiting to hear from the customer.

If they choose this option, they can provide me the business cards or digital list of prospects who visited their booth at the trade show. I'll have a direct mailer print a "Thank You" letter to enclose with the mechanical pencil, and mail to everyone on their list.

My cost may be $350, but it was my error that caused the missed delivery. The supplier could have send notice of the problem sooner, but the original error was mine.

I've already apologized, and didn't try to pass the blame to anyone else for my failure to follow-up and ensure everything necessary was done to expedite the order.

Dennis
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foundThroughAdminSig
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2004 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't want to be apologetic all the time, but you certainly don't want to create a hostile environment; that's for sure. There are all kinds of people in this world, so I am not so sure if there is a universal way to treat people right, but there is one book that I recommend in order to learn something about people skills: How to Win Friends and Influence People. Good read, I highly recommend.
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BernardErtl
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2004 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FTAS, I concur, Carnegie's book is a must read.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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FTAS, I concur, Carnegie's book is a must read.

Speaking of Dale Carnegie, this is another book that I highly recommend: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

This book is not as good as How To Win Friends And Influence People IMHO, but still a good read. Also both books give you great tips to handle various situations in business(though Carnegie does not specifically suggest to apply those in business).
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HostBidder.com
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is important to be able to apologise in business. Under-promise and over deliver is a good motto. However, when delivery is not what it should be there is nothing that annoys me more than a supplier blaming someone else. My contract is with the supplier and not with the person they are blaming. Normally I don't care why there is a problem with service. I just want supplier to take ownership of the issue and sort it.

We feel most comfortable doing business with people we trust and it's difficult to trust people when we know they won't accept responsibility. After all we all make mistakes and no one is perfest.

Fergal
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BernardErtl
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HostBidder.com wrote:
After all we all make mistakes and no one is perfest.


Well said. Well played. Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Bernard.
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EquusBusinessFinance
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2004 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

foundThroughAdminSig wrote:
You don't want to be apologetic all the time,


If your business has made a mistake, or even if your customer just perceives that you have made a mistake, you should apologise, but you can slant the apology so that you gradually make the customer realise that you were not the cause of the problem.

An initial apology, warranted or not, will always help get the customer on your side.
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HostBidder.com
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EquusBusinessFinance wrote:
... but you can slant the apology so that you gradually make the customer realise that you were not the cause of the problem.


I think you have to be very careful with this one. There is nothing that annoys me more, when things go wrong than a supplier blaming someone else. Normally I don't care, I just want to know that the issue is being fixed and that steps are taken to ensure it doesn't arise in the future. If my supplier is blaming his supplier I'm inclined to feel that he's avoiding the issue. My contract is with my supplier and if he has an unreliable supplier that should be his concern and not my problem.

Fergal
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bwelford
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of this relates to relative power and who controls who. By giving a genuine apology, you're giving the power to the customer and putting them more in control. Surprisingly, you'll often benefit from that. You're then working together on solutions.

If you do not fully apologize but try to maintain an equality of power with the customer, then you both remain in an adversarial position. No way is the customer wanting to work out solutions with you.

Just my two cents. Smile
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