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I was at a restaurant the other day and someone at the table needed some ketchup. So they said to the waiter – whose job it is to help you get the things you need to enjoy your meal – “Oh sorry, could I get some ketchup please? Thanks, sorry for asking.”

Does that make any sense? Maybe it’s a function of my Canadian heritage – but we sometimes offer all apologies too readily!

Give this song by Nirvana a listen with me – you won’t be sorry!

Advancing the conversation

So why is it that we apologize too quickly and too often? Perhaps it’s a cultural phenomenon. Or a quick way to avoid conflict? Whatever the reason, let’s make sure we’re advancing the conversation!

When your teams are moving prospects through their buyer’s journey, the goal should always be to advance at each stage in the process. Think of your recent B2B interactions – if there was a service failure, did they apologize? Did they use that as a way to move the conversation forward and come to a mutually beneficial conclusion?

Here’s what Seth Godin has to say about it:

If you often find yourself saying “sorry” in a way that doesn’t advance the conversation, it might be interesting to substitute “thank you” instead.

So, “I’m sorry this came out of the kitchen after your other dishes,” becomes, “Thank you for waiting so patiently.”

And, “I’m sorry we got disconnected,” becomes, “Thank you for calling back.”

It’s a subtle shift, from separation to connection.

Separation vs. connection is an important distinction in B2B marketing! It could mean the difference between a deal won and a deal lost. So if you’re tempted to apologize when you needn’t, ask yourself, “What else could I say? What else could I write?” Make it about them by channeling the spirit of Thanksgiving into all those interactions!

As always, don’t hesitate to call me to brainstorm or just say hello! And THANK YOU for taking the time!

Looking forward,

Rick Endrulat, President | ricke@v-causeway.com | www.linkedin.com/in/rickendrulat