6 years ago
June 12, 2018

5 Ways to Say “I’m Sorry” to Customers When a Sale Goes Wrong

Not every sale will go according to plan. In fact, most sales don’t. However, some interactions with customers can veer off the rails. Sales can go wrong for many reasons…

Rhys Metler

Not every sale will go according to plan. In fact, most sales don’t. However, some interactions with customers can veer off the rails.

Sales can go wrong for many reasons – you may have made a mistake, promised something you cannot deliver, have to deny a request, cannot fulfill a request, or missed a deadline. There are countless reasons why a sale could have issues.

Problems happen. It’s how you react to the situation that will be the difference between an understanding customer and losing business.

Ways to Say “I’m Sorry” to Customers When a Sales Issue Arises

There are many ways to say sorry. Simply repeating “sorry” is not one of them. Making an apology can be a difficult thing to do. If you truly want to make things right, use these tips to say sorry the right way:

1.  Address the issue right away:

As soon as you realize an issue occurred, address it with the customer. Don’t wait for them to bring it up, if possible. Deal with the situation and make it right, so you can move on and put it in the past.

2. Take responsibility:

Always take responsibility for the issue. Offer an apology on behalf of yourself, your team, and whoever else was involved with the problem. Acknowledge where things went wrong to show you are not taking the issue lightly.

3. Don’t make excuses:

Making excuses for any mix up will only make things worse. Most customers are understanding and realize that issues can occur. Rather than make an excuse, offer up an explanation for how the situation occurred.

4. Offer a solution:

Mistakes happen. To win over the customer, you need to offer a good solution for how you plan to make things right. People just want to know how you will fix the issue. Clearly communicate the steps you will take to correct the problem.

5. Thank the customer:

Always thank the customer for being understanding. Express your appreciation for their time and how much you value their business.


More Insightful Sales Strategy Advice From Sales Recruiters

Get more insights into how to keep customers happy and create repeat business by reading these blog posts from our sales recruiters:

“UGH, Do I Have to Answer That?” 3 Irritating Sales Customer Questions and How to Answer Them

5 Effective Ways to Retain Customers

Millennial Invasion! 4 Ways Millennials Are Changing the Way Sales Happen


SalesForce Search is a sales recruiting company which specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit salespeople in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. Find the right salesperson for your organization, start your search here.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.