So I'm doing a presentation, really trying to impress this client. And I'm talking about how women have "an attitude toward" something.
Well, it was late in the afternoon and I hadn't had my protein snack, and the lips got a little lazy. So instead of "attitude toward", it came out "atti-turd."
Now, the smart, professional thing to do would have been to keep going and not let my little slip-up stop me from continuing my presentation. But did I glide over my little slip and keep going?
No. I burst out laughing. "Atti-turd. HA HA HA! "
Not only did I say the word "turd" I was now guffawing about it.
Looking back on it now, I would have done exactly the same thing. True – I messed up. I slurred my words and said turd. I could have pretended it didn't happen, not acknowledged it, and kept going.
But here's the thing. The client heard it. I know the client heard it. I figured, better to acknowledge my mistake now, tackle whatever backlash there would be, then move on. The client laughed along with me – gave me some much deserved ribbing, then we continued on with the presentation.
There's a lesson here, and not just about proper annunciation. When we deal with clients or customers, the worst thing we can do is to ignore or try to hide a problem or mistake. One of the quickest ways to kill a company or brand is to lack transparency.
Acknowledge the elephant in the room. Admit to the mistake. Address the objection head-on. This is especially important with women.
I've seen salesmen (male and female) try to gloss over minor mistakes. BIG mistake. She may take that as a trend. Owning up to a mistake and being transparent is one of the best ways to gain her trust.
Women aren't as concerned with how "professional" you are – they are concerned with how "trustworthy" you are.