Flexibility Steers You Toward Increased Sales

Personal Branding

Putting a professional foot forward each and every time we conduct business is certainly ideal. But one of the best things you can do for yourself is to recognize everyone is human and we all make errors; yes, even us. Have you ever been late to show up at a meeting or phone someone, or even worse, double booked and needed to reschedule.

Mistakes happen

Should we be the one making the error, the best strategy is to quickly apologize to get past the embarrassment and heal the wound. The next step is to then ask for forgiveness. In the case where you recognize ahead of time you will be late, let the other party know and ask if their time still allows for you to meet. And should fault lie with the other party, the best thing you can do is relax, smile knowing everyone makes errors, and be forgiving.

Becoming stressed out or angry serves no one and most likely will deter future business. But by being open and flexible, the other party receives the message you are easy to work with. This enhances your chances for securing the business down the road.

The more important factor hidden in all of this is the process helps you to qualify whether this is someone with whom you wish to continue a dialogue. Should the other party be inflexible or unforgiving, you may face a very difficult time working together. On the other hand, when flexibility is demonstrated, you are likely to feel a better connection and find increased enjoyment doing business.

Flexibility is a win-win

Flexibility is also another type of negotiation. In sales terms, it is best to work for a win-win conclusion. By either apologizing or being forgiving, you negotiate your way through a misstep leading to an improved outcome.

Another area where flexibility holds importance is when an out of the ordinary request is made. Accommodating the wishes of others, within reason, will put you in the favorable spotlight. But once again the request needs to be reasonable and if possible benefit all parties.

My own example is that of being invited to a gathering of long time business acquaintances that required a drive time of almost two hours each way. I was willing to do so, but politely asked if I could arrive an hour early, even help set up, so that I could leave in time to avoid rush hour. I was teaching a class that evening and could not be late. Unfortunately, my perspective was never taken into consideration. In fact, no response was ever received. The other party simply got angry and refused to reply.

The lack of flexibility baffled me because over the years, I have accommodated many in the same manner. Qualifying the situation in retrospect, I recognized that it’s obviously not a good match. Saving four hours of driving allowed me to focus my time where greater possibility existed.

On the other side of the table, the next time someone makes an out of the ordinary request of you, stop to analyze why it was made. Rather than letting the request get the best of you, determine if it is reasonable. Working from the other party’s perspective first for understanding and clarity will lead you most often to a more favorable conclusion.

When you are flexible and accommodating, others recognize it and appreciate it. Your personal brand incorporates the sought after identity of “easy to work with.” Relationships improve dramatically and business becomes a Smooth Sale!


Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC, (800) 704-1499, was honored by Open View Labs with inclusion in their international list of “Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012.” Elinor authored the International Best-Selling book, “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results”, Sourcebooks and the best selling career book, “HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews”, Career Press. She provides team sales training, private coaching and highly acclaimed inspirational keynotes for conferences. Elinor is available for consultation.