A little flirting on social media has never hurt anyone, has it?
A poke here, a re-tweet there and soon your online worlds collide.
The relationships begin.
But what happens when the honeymoon period is well and truly over and the relationship is at breaking point?
Such a scenario isn’t beyond the realms of fantasy in the world of work and when it occurs, nearly all client breakdowns feel harder to deal with than many personal ones.
Why? Because of just that. To a small business it is personal.
How do you get back from the brink? Is there a way back?
In my experience the answer is YES to both questions but for very difference reasons.
First of all ask yourself do you want this relationship to work and are you ready to pull out all the stops to make it work? Try and make the decision without letting any indirect factors cloud your judgment (much like staying together for the sake of the kids).
Base the decision on fronting up to the issues facing the relationship. Take charge of the situation and address the problems. Most importantly pick up the phone and get a face to face meeting arranged. As Maureen Lipman very rightly said on those BT ads in the 90s ‘It’s good to talk.’
You might not like what you’ll hear, however it is now up to you how you decide to take the feedback on board. If you really want to make the relationship work you will. Remember why you pitched for the work in the first place and don’t be scared to be part of the conversation.
The reason why you won the job / account in the first place is because you are the expert, your skills resonated with the client and they liked you. It can go a long way if you remind them of this. The relationship worked because both of you agreed that you needed each other in order to get results and make each-other’s working lives better.
On occasions, going into a conversion like this and finding a resolution is impossible. One of you has already made your mind up.
Five minutes into the conversation and you will probably know this. The look in their eye, the fact they have no notes or agenda printed off and no drink has been offered after a six hour journey from hell.
Your insides start to spin like a washing machine and your inner voice is saying: ‘Don’t let your emotions get the better of you. Keep calm.’
You then have two choices…
…You mix the working relationship with the personal, hide behind your desk and doubt the very skills that got you here in the first place.
Or you back your own ability, keep believing in the many qualities that your clients believe in and get back on that social networking saddle to tell the world all about it!