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Amazon Ad with Spelling Mistake
Amazon Ad with Spelling Mistake (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Giving bad news to anyone sucks but to a client for a growing small business who holds your pay cheque and referrals in their hands, it could be downright scary. My fave marketing guru Sam Horne says the best way to handle a screwup is to ride A-train: Acknowledge, Apologize and Act. So it’s about saying ‘yeah, I screwed up and killed your favorite fish, I’m very sorry about that and here is the replacement fish I bought for your dearly departed’. Let’s see what this article says about other tips to break the bad news:

1. Acknowledge the impact on the client. When you deliver bad news, start by putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. Show that you understand the client’s position at the beginning of your conversation.
2. Be honest and direct. During the conversation, get right to the point and explain the situation in clear terms. Your client isn’t looking for excuses or long-winded explanations–they’re looking to see that you can take responsibility and control the repercussions.
3. Provide a viable solution. Before you bring a problem to a client, prepare a solution that would meet the client’s needs and allay any likely concerns. Focusing most of the conversation on your solution creates a sense of confidence and trust.
via How to Break Bad News to Clients.

You can actually make lemonade out of the lemon and get a handle on your scandal if you can turn the viable solution into a winning situation for your client. A mistake can actually make you look like a superstar if you’re humble, honest and helpful. So go ahead and look your clients in the eye the next time you goof up and take heart because you’re not alone and there is light at the end of the dark tunnel.
Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

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