We are not a fishing family, but we were in Hawaii for spring break last week, and we chartered a boat to go deep-sea fishing. There were six lines in the water at all times, and we were on the boat for four hours. As it turns, you don’t touch the rods and reels unless there is a fish on the hook. We didn’t know this. The captain took us to all the known fishing spots around the Big Island. The kids were so excited to catch dinner.

We caught exactly….zero fish.

We had exactly…zero bites.

And we looked at the lures dragging in the water a lot.

We were all somewhat disappointed. The kids were let down, and Dad wasn’t thrilled with the cost-to-fish ratio!

But everybody understood that these things happen.

The group before us, on the same boat, went to all the same places and caught three good size fish.

The captain didn’t do this to us, it’s just the way these things go sometimes.

Just as your customers will almost always understand when things don’t go perfectly on your end.

When there are delays; inventory issues; pricing problems; or, simply, mistakes, your long-time customers understand that you are not trying to hurt them intentionally.

In every one of my projects, I interview my clients‘ happy customers, and they tell me over and over that, they do not expect their suppliers to be perfect. They understand that you are human beings. They understand mistakes happen. They don’t expect perfection. They do expect that you fix problems promptly — which I would suggest you are world–class at doing.

And let me say this: if you have customers who don’t understand when honest mistakes happen, perhaps they shouldn’t be your customers for much longer.

The captain wasn’t trying to hurt us any more than you are trying to hurt your customers when something goes wrong. We, customers, understand this. Use it as an opportunity to make it right, demonstrate how much you care, and cement your relationship. Upside!

The upside for us? We got some terrific photos on that expensive fishing trip!

My son and I “fishing”

To discuss 15-30% predictable organic revenue growth, which is my clients’ average, for your organization please call me at 847-459-6322.