How to Handle Difficult Conversations With Your Event Planning Clients
6 Tips for Preserving Client Relationships
Whether it’s because of an unreasonable client or a genuine problem, you’re likely to encounter difficult conversations with your event planning clients at some point in your career.
So what’s the best way to handle them?
Do You Need to Have a Difficult Conversation With an Event Planning Client?
Have you got a client who keeps changing their mind about their event, which causes you extra work? Maybe you have a client who expects you to be available at all hours of the day and night to discuss plans? Whatever your situation, it’s human nature to be anxious about having difficult conversations, but if you try to avoid them all together, it’s only going to make the situation worse.
Of course you want your clients to be delighted with your services, but be careful not to bend over backwards to accommodate them at the expense of your business, and your sanity.
Follow these 6 tips for handing difficult conversations with your event planning clients and you’ll find that it’s easier than you thought.
6 Tips for Handling Difficult Conversations With Your Clients
- Know what you want to get out of the conversation. Focus on what your objective is, and make some notes in advance if it helps to clarify in your own mind what you need to say.
- Have the conversation in person. Difficult conversations may seem easier to have by email or over the phone, but it’s important to do it face to face. It’s much easier to ‘read’ each other when you’re talking in person, after all, without seeing the other person’s face or body language it’s easy to get the wrong impression.
- Ask questions. When you have difficult conversations with your event planning clients, it’s not just about your views on the situation; you need to see things from their perspective as well, even if you disagree. You may even find that the answers you get help to solve the problem.
- Stay professional. It’s easy for difficult conversations to get out of hand, with people saying things in the heat of the moment that they can’t take back. However your client reacts, always stay calm and professional and you’re more likely to preserve your good working relationship.
- Stick to the subject. Have you ever had a difficult conversation that veers into other areas? For example, “Well I don’t like it when you do XYZ”. Try to avoid that happening by staying focused on what your conversation is about.
- Be honest. Being honest is essential in any aspect of client communication, and one of the best ways to get through a difficult conversation with your relationship intact. Let’s say that something’s gone wrong with a client’s event, and it’s down to you. Don’t try to blame it on someone else, be honest and take responsibility about the situation and I promise you’ll find it a whole lot easier.
Don’t shy away from having difficult conversations; just say what you need to say. If your client is a reasonable person (and we know that most of them generally are!) then they’ll understand, and probably respect you more for it.
Now, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Have you ever had difficult conversations with your event planning clients?
How did you handle them?
Do you know anyone else that would enjoy today’s content? Feel free to share the love with them!
As always, thanks for joining me each Wednesday and for sharing.
P.S. Plan any event with The Event Toolkit. Get your copy here!