In my younger days I landed one of the biggest accounts in the industry, which was over $1 million in sales annually. After closing this account, an email exchange almost lead to me blowing it.
I was emailing with the Vice President of the company, and hadn’t heard back from her within 48 hours. This was particularly unusual with this particular client, as she was typically prompt with her response. I decided to give her a call to follow up. When she picked up I said “Good morning, Kristi! I wanted to make sure that you received my email.” Her response was, “Yes, I did and I am in shock.”
I remember my heart dropping to the floor. In my mind at that moment, I was meticulously recounting my steps thinking, “I know I didn’t send anything stupid. What if I accidentally sent her something that was meant for somebody else?”
She continued, “Based off getting to know you, I was really surprised to hear you talk like that.” I had absolutely no clue what she was talking about, and where these concerns were coming from.
After going back through my emails, I didn’t find anything that I didn’t mean to send. I read through my email to her, and still didn’t know how we had gotten here. I finally said, “Kristi, I am so sorry if I did anything to offend you but I am not sure which email you’re referring to.”
She explained the email, and afterwards I apologized at least 10 times letting her know that I had no intentions of ever being disrespectful. I hung up the phone, and kept reading the email, still confused as to how my words could be misinterpreted in that way. Looking for some clarity, I forwarded the email in question to a couple of friends and even they didn’t understand what had offended her.