Breaking the Bad News to Your Clients
Sometimes, our line of work unfortunately comes with difficult conversations. In this episode, host Reyna Caraveo discusses why, how, and when you need the break bad news to your clients in a professional manner.
In the event industry, it is expected that some things may go a different way than what you expect. First, you need to understand that it’s important to have tough conversations with clients. Having the ability to lead conversations like this is a tangible skill that professionals need to learn early on in the industry to help the client understand more about why and how their event is being affected, and what the next steps look like for when unwelcomed changes arise.
In this episode:
- Why – There are a lot of moving parts for each event and if one part is no longer functioning favorably, that can set discourse for the rest of the event. Consider deadlines from other vendors or from the venue and how those changes can impact the rest of the event. If there is an opportunity for the client to make a decision that will impact the entirety of the event, and it is because of the changes from one of their vendors, then that is a reason to bring up the news to the client.
- How – Built on communication skills, work ethic, and professionalism. These are the best strengths to rely on. Communicate the process you are working through in order to produce a successful event. Be proactive with the client so they know that you are working with the other vendors to present a holistic view. This will also build trust with the client in delivering any bad news. They will already know that you’ve been showing up for your part in creating a successful event, and can trust that you are being honest in any harsh news.
- When – If a time-sensitive decision has to be made by the client because of a new obstacle in the event planning process, then understanding the importance of sharing it with them ASAP will help in being able to take on any challenges successfully. Setting expectations early on about variables that are time-sensitive, and laying out all the options a client has will help them work through the challenges of realizing their event may not be the same vision they had in mind.
Overall the best way to prepare for conversations that carry hardships would be to state the facts, layout their options and move toward a solution. This will help in building trust for breaking the bad news to your clients, and stay in good standing for future projects. Listen to this episode about building your expertise as an event professional!