How to Deliver Bad News to Clients

gnl g s patton

“If a man does his best, what else is there?”
~General George Patton Jr.

Have you ever been let down by a vendor?
Of course you have.
Vendor screw-ups are like death and the Detroit Lions missing the playoffs — they’re gonna happen.
One recent Sunday, my wife and I were let down by a vendor.
BUT they recovered so well that we gave them extra money.
coffee cakeHere’s the story.
After church a few weekends ago, we sat down for brunch at The Grand Café in Minneapolis, placed our order, and waited…
After about 15 minutes, our waiter rushed over to apologize and take responsibility.
“We’re missing our regular Sunday morning cook, so everything is behind. I’m really sorry. Here’s a piece of coffee cake on the house, while you wait.”
A few minutes later, he returned. “We’re still behind, so I’m going to take your coffees off the bill. I’m very sorry about this.!”
Our brunch eventually arrived and it was delicious.
And here’s the thing:
Because our waiter got out in front of the problem and “owned” the slow service, we really didn’t mind. In fact, I gave him a nice tip.
The lesson is this:
If you have bad news to deliver, do it quickly, with a smile, over-communicate to keep your client in the loop, and throw in a freebie to thank them for their patience.
You can own the problem, or you can be owned. Pick one.
Thanks for allowing me to rant…

gnl patton“Do your damnedest in an ostentatious manner all the time.”
~General George Patton Jr.

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About Lance Berwald, Coldwell Banker Burnet

I am a real estate aspirant and scholar. Always seeking to learn more about an every changing world and industry. Come and seek the truth about life, real estate and what motivates us each and every day!
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