Turn Your Critics Into Raving Fans…

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We can all make mistakes. It’s human nature. But this product marketing strategy turns those ‘losses’ into ‘wins’ by making up for them in a big way. If your customers care enough about what went wrong to complain, they are much more likely to respect and give you time if you are up front about what went wrong.

In fact you have the opportunity to turn your most vehement critics into your biggest supporters… Take it

What It Is: Front  up to the mistake you  made. Be open and honest about lapses in judgment. You’re only human after all !

Why It’s Powerful: Dealing with someone who addresses problems head on is a refreshing experience for your prospects. It’s disarming for them to find a businessman who is prepared to admit to his mistakes rather than try and bluster his way out of the problem. It makes the people in your niche far more likely to listen more carefully to what else you have to say.

What the Experts Say: According to Paul Schoemaker, the research director for the Mack Center for Technological Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and co-author of the forthcoming Brilliant Mistakes, most people tend to overreact to their slip-ups. They “make asymmetric evaluation of gains and losses so that losses loom much larger than gains,” he explains. As a result, they may be tempted to hide their mistakes, or even worse, continue down paths that have proven unproductive. This “sunk cost fallacy” can be dangerous and expensive.

Example: Here’s a case study published by the Harvard Business Review in which Smarthinking.com found itself in a bind as the dot com bubble burst and their financing dried up. The company was facing closure so they brought their 30 employees together and laid out what needed to happen if they were going to weather the storm together. Needless to say everyone ‘pulled together’ and the company has just celebrated its 11th anniversary.

How To Do It: Next time you make a mistake… think about how you might be able to turn it into a win for you and your prospects.  Instead of hiding and retreating… stand tall, admit it, and make things right.

So grab the bull by the horns and face up to your mistakes whether they be management mis-judgements or indeed to do with your product marketing strategy. Sweeping them under the carpet will just save them up for later when they will be bigger and harder to deal with.

You are probably your own worst critic anyway so, irrationally, tend to make a mountain out of a molehill… Reality could be completely different.

Grab every opportunity you can to turn your critics into raving fans…


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Rory Ramsden