Long ago a sales manager said to me, “Sometimes you have to fall on your sword.” He was referring to saying the words, “I’m sorry; My error; My apology.” For many, and I’m one who had to learn, these words are difficult. But I quickly realized he was right.

Forgiveness comes far more quickly when you are the one to apologize whether on interviews, selling or in your personal relationships. The concept is universal.

- On interviews you might misinterpret a question
- A product or service you sell may not live up to expectations
- Your significant other may on occasion feel disappointed

On occasion you may be hoping to land that seemingly perfect job up until you accidentally provide an incorrect response to a question. You may easily recover by saying

“Oh, I’m sorry I misinterpreted your question, please let me try again.” 

Your sincerity will swiftly come across to the hiring manager and will provide you with a second opportunity to respond. In fact this may actually work to your benefit given your honesty and sincerity are eloquently displayed. In the future, however, it is best to clarify upfront so that you answer correctly the first time.

In my corporate days, I had to frequently apologize to prospects for having to re-arrange meetings due to unexpected attendance required at corporate, and to clients for poor service delivery beyond my control. The fact I stepped up to apologize made me different from most everyone else in the industry. Accordingly my sales continued to pour in.
The apologizing technique increased my sales volume providing me with repeat business, referrals and testimonials. It got to the point where I actually looked for opportunity to apologize. People bonded with me because they knew what it felt like to take the blame for something that happened at headquarters.

Remembering back, I decided to test my theory and take the apologizing technique to a new level. I asked permission from my then sales manager to review the dead files. I realized the salespeople who went before me did something dastardly for a dead file to exist. So I would call those past clients up and apologize for the person I replaced! The dead files became a gold mine and it was the most lucrative job I ever held.

And of course, on occasion, we all have arguments at home – a swift apology for minor infractions straightens everything out. Apologizing is relationship building and business development at their best.

In business it actually makes you seen as a leader because it takes great confidence to admit to an error and have the frame of mind to not flee but move the conversation forward. You also deliver the marketing-communication message that you care and thus imply your customer service policies are impeccable.

By saying you are sorry, you close and attract more sales – and – enjoy the Smooth Sale!

Author's Bio: 

Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC believes building relationships before the sale and continuing long after is the only way to sell and build a dynamic business. Elinor’s book, “Nice Girls DO Get The Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results,” in an International Best Seller. Her new book, HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself on Interviews, Career Press, based upon her own experience and years of community service proved profitable before it went into print.

Elinor is an International Speaker, Author and Trainer and makes herself available for consultations.