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Lost Opportunity — It Takes Courage To Say You’ve Made A Mistake

by David Brock on April 10th, 2009
Yesterday, I wrote an article about my experience with a Sales 2.0 tool and the lost opportunity the company had in not trying to learn about why I was cancelling my subscription.

My friend, Jill Konrath, saw the post and knew the company I was speaking of. She went to the CMO to make him aware of what had happened. He immediately recognized the lost opportunity and contacted me–not to try to win my business back but to learn so they could improve the product and experience. He said they were a young company, growing and learning to be better. Next week we have some time set aside to talk about my concerns and what they might do in the future. I am appreciative they are taking the time to listen to me.

However, the point of this post is not to give you a status update, but to comment on the courage it takes to stand up an acknowledge you have made a mistake. Too many times, we ignore it, we try to push the blame somewhere else, or we make excuses.

It takes real courage and character to admit you have made a mistake. We all make mistakes, no one expects us to be perfect. In my experience, while people may be angry for a moment, they most want to fix the issue and move on. Admitting you have made a mistake, taking immediate corrective action and moving forward is a phenomenal way to improve relationships with customers and prospective customers. It demonstrates your authenticity and that you care.

It could have been easy to blow off my complaint. After all, I’m just an opinionated, loud mouth consultant (we all know we are held in close to the same esteem as lawyers). Plus “no one reads that blog.”

Kudos to the CMO and to this company for having the courage to recognize the lost opportunity, admit the mistake and give me a chance to express my opinion. We need more leaders and organizations like this. (Also, thanks to Jill for her help!)

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