The Weekly Sales Tip

Bill Farquharson

Bill Farquharson

Why an Order Gone Bad is Good for Business

You say, “Oh no! A messed up order” and think, “This could cost me the account.” But you will think differently after this week’s Short Attention Span Sales Tip by Bill Farquharson

Good morning!

A client gives you an order but disaster strikes and there’s a problem with the job. The customer calls you and lets you know.

Your external response: “Terrible news! I’m so sorry to hear that!”
Your internal response: “Great news! I’m so happy to hear that!”

Wait. What?

Problem orders occur now and then. They are like gremlins, sneaking into the pressroom or the bindery or shipping, wreaking havoc and then disappearing into the night only to pop up in another place at another time.

These gremlins can kill a relationship…


They can also solidify one.

So, why would this all make sales rep happy? Because the rep sees the opportunity that this problem creates for him.

Everyone makes mistakes. Gremlins come and go and do not favor any one particular customer. Or order. It’s what happens next that can turn this into a chance to solidify an account.

First, meet the immediate need. A blown run of, say, 50,000 does not automatically require a full quantity to satisfy urgent requirements. Find out what the clients meets NOW. Note: This might require some sacrifices on their part. For example, a partial rerun might require digital print equipment, resulting in paper and color differences.

Second, over-communicate the status and delivery of your solution. Keep the client and all affected parties up to date.

Along the way, make sure to apologize, even if it is not 100% your fault.

How you handle this situation is being watched, but still, make sure the client knows all the details. Perhaps when the problem is fully behind you, it would be appropriate to recap the issue and your response as a way to be fully transparent but also pat yourself on the back a little bit.

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