Many years ago, I was introduced to a VERY antagonized client relationship within my company.
The Client had made a huge investment in a new product line. They had extended their lines, bet on their solid existing, and future incredible, and were ready for the fruits of their labor to pay off. They began full-on marketing and sales. And on 9/11……..they were at a large trade show……staring at empty aisles…. with potential buyers wanting only to go home to their families.
What a huge letdown, and recipe for disaster. The markets seized up, and new buying hit a wall. No-one, no matter how good the Client’s new product was, wanted to invest new money.
Our Client came back to their office, and within a few months, virtually every one of our company contacts had antagonized the situation, and it was very bad. There were things that needed to be done, but the handling on both sides was tense and harsh. So, my Team Leads decided to clear the slate, and bring in a new face. They handed the file to me, with a few words of what to expect, and off I went.
I spent the next 2 days perusing the files, learning the history and future, and developing a strategy for starting a conversation with our Client. Lots of challenges, but I saw potential; a good product, a good operator, a good base of clients, and a reasonable history, and a need to get past this setback. I then called the Client.
To say the least, the initial discussions were a bit tense, and rightfully so; I was new guy on the block, in a situation that had not been very good for many months. What could I do? I will tell you.
I placed before the Client a good, well thought out strategy. Something like this:
- You and I are not familiar with each other. My intent is to create a working relationship.
- I want to come out to your offices and meet you, and tell you a little bit about me, so you will know me.
- When I am with you, tell me all of what you want to tell me, and I will listen;
- What is good and bad about the company/the relationship; where did things go wrong?
- I have gone through our file, and have digested a lot of information, and maybe I can help fill in the blanks, and bridge some gaps.
- You and I will find some resolution, and we will agree to disagree on some things, BUT;
- Let’s agree to build things positively moving forward.
- Call me when things are good. Call me when things are bad.
- I will not over-react to anything, and we will address each issue as it comes about.
- Let’s find a way to walk forward in the best light, and make it better!
18 months later, I had a recovered company, out of debt, and openly communicating about next steps that WE (my company and the Client) could together engage, and from which we could prosper. I became his BEST Relationship Manager.
Mile Marker Business and Consulting Services, LLC is founded heavily on this and similar stories; the lessons of STRATEGY, COMMUNICATION, PATIENCE, and UP-FRONT HONESTY are priceless and engrained in every discussion. Making the right moves and doing the right thing, without too much pride, and with RELATIONSHIP at the forefront of creating optimal success for all involved.
Do you REALLY want to solve problems? The MILE MARKER is a great place to stop. Let’s start a conversation.