Make money from your mistakes

Toby Somerville

It is possible to profit from your mistakes. Let me tell you a little true story.

Once upon a time, one Saturday morning my (then) hosting company accidentally deleted one of my reseller accounts and failed to get the hosting back on-line for 2 and a half days, (the hows and whys of it are not for this post).

As you can imagine, my clients were furious. Even though it was not my error — I was responsible for it. So, once everything was back up and running, what did I do? Did I give them an imaginative excuse, using lots of acronyms and blaming everyone else? No. I sent all the affected clients a personalised email. Apologising and explaining what had happened and what I was doing to prevent it happening again. I sent this email to everyone, even to the clients who had not noticed the outage.

The response to that email was actually incredibly positive:

“Thanks for letting us know”
“I appreciate your honesty”
“Oh, by the way I need “X” doing, can you send me a quote.”

And business continued on happily after…


The moral of the story?
Now, whilst it is not the most exciting story, there is a moral: and no, it isn’t that you should disable your client’s hosting in order to get more sales. It is by being honest and upfront about your mistakes is not necessarily a bad thing; you can earn client respect, trust and sometimes even a little cash.

Have you ever profited from your mistakes? and if so how?