I say this a lot because it really matters.
Applicable to every industry and one of my most valuable pieces of advice. Of course not every conversation is going to be hunky dorey with sunshine and rainbows spewing all over the scenario you are faced with. But, you can control the lasting impression you leave them with.
This doesn’t have to be an obvious gush of positive butterflys – its often more a subconscious message. Have the last thing you say to them be positive. Maybe you’ve heard a variation of this regarding employee feedback – tell them a weakness and then a strength. Similar format here, but with every conversation you have with your client. If the last thing you say to them is positive in anyway they are more likely to communicate with you, reach out to you, come back to you, and be honest with you. Example: you owe the ATO $20k but, this is a bit lower than last quarter because of your extra expenses with GST. I can’t make the meeting on Thursday, but I can come in Friday and expedite the project more than originally projected. We have processed your order for 20k – I hope you have an excellent weekend and get to enjoy some sunshine! That item has been discontinued but I do have this and this that are similar but better in these ways. Our liquor licensing doesn’t allow us to do shots, but I can mix your drink with something light like sparking water or sprite? We don’t carry tonic water but often guests have opted for sparking water with lime instead.
You are in control of what you leave your client with – at least let it be a smile, but at best let be a strong positive statement. Bonus, you’ll walk away from the conversation with a pep in your step too!