I’ve never met you, but I know at least one thing about you.
You’ve made a mistake.
We all have, right? Everyone on this earth has found themselves in the uncomfortable in-between of waiting out the aftermath of a mistake. Some have dealt with larger issues, others smaller. Either way, when you find yourself in a situation like this, you can turn a negative into a positive with these three tips.
1) Admit That Your Mistake Was, In Fact, A Mistake
The first, and probably hardest, step to rectifying a situation where you screwed something up is coming clean about what you did wrong.
Experts recommend that you admit to your mistake as close to the incident as possible. This shows your boss or co-worker or whoever is involved with the situation two things:
- You’re owning your mistake
- You’re trustworthy and credible
Don’t dig a deeper hole by playing the blame game. The quicker you stop digging and admit it, the easier it is to get out.
2) Be Solution Oriented
In addition to coming clean, it always helps to bring a few solutions to the table.
If the mistake can somehow be rectified, offer up how you can fix the situation or at least how it can be controlled. The last thing you want to do is present your manager with a mistake, walk away, and leave him or her thinking he or she has to clean up your mess.
Speaking from experience—mistakes are a part of the game. What separates good salespeople from great salespeople is their willingness to correct those mistakes.
3) Do It In Person
It’s easy for an email to be mistranslated, and for most people, it’s hard to fully articulate themselves in writing.
Doing the two points mentioned above in person allows you to clarify ambiguous points and interpret the social situation a little better. I don’t know a manager out there who wouldn’t respect you for going to him or her personally—before he or she catches wind of it from someone else—to fess up about an error.
Mistakes can't be completely erased, but as a salesperson, you can still leverage them for your own benefit.
Do you have any advice on what to do when you make a mistake?