No matter where you stand on politics, religion, the Rangers, the Cowboys, Mac or Windows, we all have at least two things in common.  First, we’re all human.  Second, we’re going to make mistakes.  We all have at least two things in common. First, we’re all human. Second, we’re going to make… Click To Tweet

If you’ve been following me for long, you likely know I spent most of my early career in sales.  Early on, a mentor taught me about the power of the “we are going to make mistakes” talk.  I refined this speech and used it over and over with my clients.  It went something like this: “Mr. Client, I really appreciate your business.  But if you do a lot of business with us – and I know you’re going to – there’s going to come a time when we mess something up.  We’re a company of humans.  Inevitably, someone is going to mess something up.  But here’s what I want you to know.  If you’ll make me your first call when we have that inevitable mistake, you can count on me to make it right.”

There it was, right up front I was telling potential and new clients that we were going to make mistakes.  But I was also giving them my personal promise to make it right when it happened.  Sooner or later, I’d get that call from every client.  Because we’re all human, and mistakes happen.  You’re not going to set your organization apart by claiming to never make mistakes – that’s a promise you can’t deliver on.  You have a tremendous opportunity to set your organization apart in the way you respond to those mistakes – that’s a promise you can deliver on.  You have a tremendous opportunity to set your organization apart in the way you respond to… Click To Tweet

Over the years, I’ve taught this to every sales team I have lead.  Over and over the teams would push back, reluctant to actually go out and tell prospects or new clients we were going to screw up.  My response was always the same:  Tell them.  They already know we’re going to make mistakes.  What they want to hear is how we are going to respond when it happens.

Our clients don’t expect perfection.  Nobody’s perfect; they’re not perfect.  But they do expect us to take ownership when there’s a problem.  When you make a promise that you’ll take care of things when they go wrong, you give them hope.  When you deliver on that promise, you build trust.  Our clients don’t expect us to be perfect. But they do expect us to take ownership when there’s a… Click To Tweet

Have you put your personal promise on your commitment to respond when mistakes happen?  What happened when you delivered on that promise?  Leave a comment and let me know how you’ve used a strategy like this to build trust with your clients.


If you’re ready to create a culture of accountability, learn more about our Building Leadership Momentum through Leadership Rhythm workshop. Leaders must constantly focus on maximizing resources and inspiring their team to reach its true potential.  They do this by creating an appropriate structure of rhythm, cadence and measurement that inspires their team members to set higher standards of performance and willing accept increased responsibility and accountability. If you’re ready to take your team to the next level, find out how to bring this powerful workshop to your organization.

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