Less than 20 more days to make this year count, what a challenge it has been for everyone, for some more than others. It’s taken a mental toll on me and I assume you too, and while I strive to be optimistic, creative and consultative every day, I need to add value to my clients whenever they can benefit from creative suggestions, so they too stand out.
So I was intrigued I came across an video in inc.com titled “Six Ways to Innovate Mentally” which I urge you to watch for 1 minute 45 seconds, and I will be adding to each of its six concepts over the next few days. I hope you enjoy and can adapt them.
2. Learn from your Mistakes
If you did not make many mistakes in the past year, you did not try hard enough. And sometimes mistakes are unavoidable or unpredictable. Or they are borne on the backs of another party but you are nonetheless responsible as representative of the offender.
Insincere apologies abound (to wit: customer service at big companies, such as 6 rounds of phone calls with supervisors at my local cable company that nearly put me over the edge). You can and should be real and sincere in apologizing when you screw up. No one cares why this happened, just that you fix it NOW. Save the “what I learned from this mess” for another time when appropriate, but at least let the client know you acknowledge you caused them agita. I am finishing up a series of issues that occurred when a client changed bank account that caused a ripple effect at the merchant card processor that nearly closed their account. I sent in a form and failed to followed up on the third one of these steps: 1) I confirmed the form was received 2) I entrusting the right people that the change was implemented and 3) the part I missed was (and I will always remember this) asking if the change was successful. I assumed that if it were unsuccessful that I would be consulted. You know what they say about assuming…
In another personal fumble, I marketed a qualified prospect company in the South too aggressively that they needed my LinkedIn advice. I used New York metro directness that was misinterpreted as too aggressive. The pricing I quoted was for this market, not theirs. I leaned on my value to them, but they were not used to that level of quantity/quality, nor saw LinkedIn as the remedy. I misinterpreted and learned a valuable lesson. I know I am worth what I quoted them, but not appreciated as I intended it. From that, I move forward and will recall this “miss” for the next out-of-area client, learning as I go, and from my mistakes.
Monday: part 3 “Get Uncomfortable.”