Bad News One-on-One

What to Do to GET Referrals
Grow: Master Gardener – Etiquette|Bad News One-on-One
Conversation lead by the: 30305- Buckhead  Team

  and Things go wrong – that’s not the problem – we expect things to go wrong. The problem is how we professionally communicate.

Share something that your clients think is bad news, and tell us how you communicate with them.

Your process when things go wrong is what to do to get referrals.


6 Responses to Bad News One-on-One
  1. John Bennett
    January 24, 2020 | 9:27 am

    In a purchase closing, we request mortgage payoffs for sellers. Sometimes people forget about a a HELOC they haven’t used in years and don’t disclose it on the seller’s information form. Even HELOC’s with a zero balance must be released at closing. We contact the seller (or their agent) at least a week before closing to get this resolved. Giving people time to fix mistakes is key (and prevents additional mistakes made when rushing to get something done).

  2. Ken Schmanski
    January 24, 2020 | 9:52 am

    As a publisher of a community magazine that works with local businesses that pay for sponsored ads, there are many issues that come up that can cause problems with your relationship, such as the sponsor feeling the ad isn’t working for them and wanting out of their contract, doesn’t like their ad placement – next to their competitor, etc.

    Preventive actions include maintaining constant contact with the sponsor, such as dropping off their magazine in person every month, and not showing up just when their renewal is pending.

    But when you are contacted by an unhappy client, don’t delay the issue, don’t avoid the issue, don’t email about the issue, and don’t try to resolve it over the phone. Run immediately at the problem. Set up a person-to-person meeting, preferably offer to buy them lunch in a neutral location to talk it out. Maintaining regular contact and reaching out immediately to resolve the issue shows that you care about your client and will always be there to support them. That increases your ability to keep that client.

    Remember, good word of mouth about you spreads like molasses, bad word of mouth spreads like wildfire.

  3. Chip Lawson
    January 28, 2020 | 6:54 am

    You don’t want or expect changes while you are traveling. However, in this business if feels like the norm. As a travel agent, my responsibility is to stay abreast of any changes or cancellations that may affect my clients. Cancelled flights, hotel construction & cruise ships ramming the docks happen.

    Bad news for sure! I quickly ascertain the situation, analyze the options and get in touch with my clients as fast as possible. Direct phone call is the best. I need to communicate the issues, their options and my opinion of the best course of action. This can be a much easier process if the client has opted for travel insurance.
    A text message I received said my client has lost their passport somewhere in Greece. A quick phone call to the insurance company and an insurance representative in Greece was soon in contact with my clients helping them through the steps for a replacement even before the Mediterranean cruise was complete.

    Stuff happens! A clear and direct communication with reassurance is the standard in which we handle issues when they arise.

  4. Linzy Parsons
    February 13, 2020 | 10:37 am

    I set the expectation for my clients that there is usually an exterior property inspection within the first few weeks of starting homeowners insurance policies. This is to ensure that the home is in good condition (vs. in need of repairs).
    This ensures that we can limit the likelihood for a claim and be made aware if any hazards exist. If any exterior hazard(s) exist, I counsel my clients to take action immediately (before the inspection takes place) in order to prevent policy cancellation for underwriting reasons.

    The list below is not exhaustive but these seem to be the most common hazards that I am made aware of following the exterior inspection process. Policy cancellations can occur if one major or three minor issues exist. Here are some hazards/risk that commonly come back following the exterior inspection process:
    1. overhanging tree limbs

    2. three or more stairs leading to home (front, back, and/or side) without proper functioning handrails

    3. an asphalt shingle roof with more than one layer of shingles or beyond 15 years old (less years in some cases) or with less than 5 years of life remaining can be a concern **In the event of a metal roof there should not be any holes or gaps and minimal rust (consider painting)

    4. debris or junk cars on the premises

    5. overgrowth on home (i.e. ivy)

    6. damaged or rotten siding/fascia/soffit

    7. detached and/or clogged gutters

    8. gaps/cracks in foundation

    9. loose railing or boards

    10. uneven sidewalk/driveway (tripping hazard)

    11. undisclosed dogs (restricted breeds especially)

    12. undisclosed swimming pool/trampoline/tree house

    13. chimney in need of repair

    14. clogged gutters

    It is important to ask questions about the condition of the property prior to binding the coverage. If a policy is cancelled for one of these reasons, the insured will get a letter which is bad news. My goal is to keep my clients from getting these letters so I try to be proactive.

  5. Sean Cantkier
    February 14, 2020 | 2:29 pm

    As much as we would like to be blind to it, websites do get hacked. Even the most “secure” sites in the world have been hacked as you probably have heard in the news lately. Bruce recently had his website hacked. I immediately called him when I realized this was case. It is much better to deliver the bad news, along with a plan, than to wait for them to contact me. I took the opportunity to do a full security audit of his website so moving forward we minimize the risks. Lucky for Bruce, he signed up with me for a website backup service which meant we were able to get him back up and running within a couple of hours of discovering the issue.

  6. Matthew Underwood
    February 24, 2020 | 1:50 pm

    As a physics therapist I often treat people with degenerative changes in their spine, torn rotator cuffs, bulging discs, etc. Sometimes the patients are aware of these issues before they see me, but sometimes they are not. It is very important that I don’t scare patients when discussing the relevant pathology. I always try to stay positive and bring the most relevant, current evidence to the discussion. I try and focus on what we can do to make it better and also try to let patients know that most of these issues resolve and get better and can even heal. I try to avoid patients leaving my office being afraid to bend over because of a disc issue. I try to empower with knowledge and encourage safe movement on the road to recovery.

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