Relationship Marketing: Part 5


Let’s recap what we’ve covered concerning Relationship Marketing.

What is Relationship Marketing?

What do people want?

How to care about your clients.

Understanding personality types.

So let’s take a look at what to do when everything goes wrong. When you’re in over your head and your conversation seems to go belly-up.

It’s incredibly easy to look good when you’re on top, but I believe your defining moments are the recovery from turmoil.

To get to the point, the only place to start (by my assessment) is a position of humility. No matter what has happened, whether you sent off an email that was wrong, you’re faced with a problem you don’t have a solution for, or you’re just caught off guard, these are the steps you take first:

Step 1. Breathe
Step 2. Validate
Step 3. Problem Solve

The power of the three steps outlined above cannot be overstated. Just taking a pause, even three seconds, can allow you time to regain your bearings. You need to make sure you don’t flip your lid or go into fight or flight mode. If you don’t have the answer or you’ve put your foot in your mouth taking the time to follow these steps can right the ship. 

When you’re caught in this situation it’s important to be honest and just as invested in their problems as they are. Don’t provide any promises in this time, just assure them that though you don’t have an answer, you’ll do your best to find one and report back to them. Reassuring them you are on their team and working diligently to find a solution is the first step in recovering.

And here’s a bonus step: Smile. It’s good for your brain, their brain will want to mirror your emotions, and again it provides some relief for the tension. Keep in mind though, laughing when your actions have cost their company money likely falls outside this bonus step. Stay in control of the conversation but respect where they’re at. If you can comprehensively validate your client you can sometimes still crack a joke at the end, even if it’s at your own expense.

The moments we screw up can be the most powerful relationship building moments we could ask for. How we get up and dust ourselves off can reinforce your existing relationship or burn it to the ground. We want to help these defining moments lead to positive outcomes for you and your clients.

One final note, and possibly one of the most important: Be aware of when your relationship with your client has become toxic and you need to exit gracefully. There are relationships where the road of respect and cooperation no longer goes both ways. If you’re lucky, you can separate the wheat from the chaff before a business relationship is even established. That’s a topic for another time. 

But, when you’re faced with the reality that your client might not be working anymore, keep the aforementioned three steps in mind. Be humble, seek their best interest, and be confident that you can no longer meet their needs in a mutually beneficial manner. Investing in a toxic relationship will more than likely cost you and them far greater the longer it goes on. In an age of Yelp reviews, Facebook feeds, and online influence, we are both far more powerful and vulnerable than any other time. Don’t worry, we’ll cover more on this topic in the future.

Thanks for taking this journey with Bema Creative, we’ve got lots more just around the corner for you! Sign up for our email updates to get exclusive content, more stats, and expansions on existing topics. If you want to get in touch with us directly give us a call or shoot an email our way. We offer sales and marketing coaching to get hands-on and help you get a handle on your business. We hope you’re as excited about Relationship Marketing as we are!

See you soon!

If you missed Relationship Marketing Part Four you can read it here.