In every business there are challeging moments. When you are just starting out, these can feel like a real blow to your momentum.
Think about this: What is the true business of sales people? Most people would answer "making sales", but is it really? Is that what they do the most? The fact of the matter is that when you really think about it, sales people are actually in the business of managing rejection.
Whether someone is great or poor at sales, eventually they will make a sale. What separates good sales people from poor sales people is how they manage rejection and failure. If asked, they will confirm this. It may take 5 rejections or it may take 100 rejections on avcrage but a good sales person knows that it is just a matter of time and effort before they make the sale.
Small business entrepreneurs wear many hats and, as a result, will face more than their fair share of mistakes and rejections. However like the salesperson, you can quickly change your state by putting things into perspective.
A clients recently ordered some business cards for her new business. The first time she handed the business card to a potential client, the client remarked that the website and email address were missing. She was not only embarrased but discouraged at the thought of having wasted money on these cards.
All succesful people have one thing in common: they learn to manage their stressers and find a way to move beyond it.
Some of the things you might do includes:
- See things as they are, not worse than they are. When we are upset or angry, we often blow things out of proportion.
- Look to the future and see them better than they appear to be. Focusing on what your business will be line in a year and 5 years from now. Take yourself there and look back on this day. What you see when you look back is the true importance this mistake.
- Anytime something goes wrong, there is always something positive you can get out of it, whether it is a lesson to learn, or even an opportunity.
So you have to fix up the business card and have it re-printed because of a typo. So you didn't get this sale. Does that change who you are? Does that change your business? Does that change the fact that you have something valueable to your clients? Does that change the fact that you are set to succeed no matter what happens?
Every masterpiece that was ever made could have been done better. It's time to move on. If you grow, you'll learn not to make the same mistakes.
As for the cost of re-printing a business card, what you are actually pay for is your experience, not for the business cards. Sure, this lesson cost you some money. You can either waste your money and let this experience bring you down or even quit, or you can decide to learn and grow from this experience and share your wisdom with others so that it doesn't end up costing you or your clients money in the future. If you can figure out how to grow and contribute from this experience, you will move on and succeed.
Did you know? Everybody likes to feel appreciated and a flawed business card is actually an opportunity to develop a relationship with a client. It's an opportunity to express how much you appreciated clients feedback. When you receive your new "fixed" business cards, there is an opportunity to send (or deliver) a replacement along with a letter thanking him/her for the feedback they provided and to remind them once again of your commitment to quality and the services you provide which meet the clients needs.
I sincerely hope you can see it that way. Everything that happens can be dealt with as a setback or as an opportunity. When something like this happens, it can be discouraging but you can recover quicker by simply asking yourself "How can I make the most out of this situation?"
Don't just give him a new card. Go out of your way to let him know just how much you appreciated it. Make a big thing of it. Think of it this way -- each time you get negative feedback from a client, what kind of negative impact did he just save you by letting you know about this glitch?
If you really feel bad or embarrased, offer him a reward of some kind (a 5% discount on his next invoice) to show your appreciation if that makes you feel better.
Did you know? Errors on business cards are actually much more common than you might expect. I have seen some interesting business card blunders over the years. Sometimes its due to the printer but sometimes the designer just missed something during the preparations. I have seen all kinds of blunders. Typos, forgetting to put their name, the company name or description of what they do, missing telephone numbers, etc… not all at the same time of course or the card would end up blank.
Most people don't talk about their mistakes because they are afraid of how people will perceive them. So if you haven't heard about these, it's probably by design. Personally I believe that admitting your mistakes makes you more human and more trustworthy than someone who always tells you that everything is going great.
Successful people know that mistakes are opportunities to learn. You don't learn anything from doing it right and nobody is perfect anyway. Managing your blunders is where you'll find the big payoff in the long run.
Did you know? The most succesful people in the world are the ones that make the most mistakes. Why? Because they tend to also be the people who take the most chances. It's all a numbers game. The more chances you take, the more chances you have of succeeding. 80% of people fail because they didn't even start. If you've taken any action at all towards achieving your goals, you've already joined the other 20%. All you need to do is not give up and learn to manage your failures and you will be amongst the 4% of people who succeed.
Keep it positive, even in challenging moments. This isn't always easy, especially if you aren't used to thinking that way. It's like a muscle and by practing the concept of CANI, it will quickly become easier.
CANI? Constant And Neverending Improvement. Live it.