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Bad Client, Good Client

by | Jan 29, 2019 | 2 comments

“What makes for a bad client… and a good client”, I asked Kevin, my travel agent.

Kevin and I had just spent a chunk of time sifting through the confusing and varied options for my flight to Israel next month where I will give a presentation and be part of a press conference at Hebrew University.

Kevin and I started our relationship begrudgingly on my part. I don’t like working with travel agents! But, a national association client required that we use Kevin and his agency. “Great,” I grumbled, “He’ll probably book my flight from Dallas to Orlando with a stop in Alaska, if it makes the ticket cheaper.”

No. That didn’t happen. Kevin impressed me with his knowledge, attention to detail, and quick follow through. He’s been my travel agent ever since. It is not easier to figure this travel maze myself, as I originally thought.

Back to this flight to Israel. After we finally got the ticket booked we discussed client relationships and here are Kevin’s answers on what makes for a good and a bad client…. after working with many professionals from a variety of industries.

Good Clients understand the lingo. That means, we need to meet service providers (travel agents, AT&T phone operators, financial planners, the real estate broker…) halfway. It’s our responsibility to grasp some knowledge of their respective industries.

Good Clients know and appreciate the service and time that the service provider is giving to us.

Conversely, Bad Clients assume (“assume” is my least favorite word when it comes to communicating) the provider is not ever doing enough.

Bad Clients think that when something goes awry, it’s always the service provider’s fault.

“One time”, Kevin laughingly said, “A CEO called me and shouted, ‘Kevin – call the airline and hold the plane! I’m running late! Tell them I’m a VIP.’” Kevin retorted – laying this relationship on the line, “You mean I should tell them you’re a Very Important Pr__k (rhymes with brick)?”

Well…. I don’t think I would have the guts to do that but Kevin told me, “That CEO got it! From that moment on he transformed from a Bad Client to a good one. In fact we have now worked together for many years.”

How you communicate creates good and/or bad will with your service providers. Be aware of your voice, tone and nature. And never miss an opportunity to say “thanks”.

Thank you, Kevin Lawrence, for making my travels easy to manage.

You can find Kevin at Destinations Travel Center. kevin.lawrence@destravctr.com    www.destinationstravelcenter.com

Photo ©:  123RF Stock Photo

© Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, Albert Einstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.

Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog

#PresentationSkills #BusinessCommunication #OrganizationalCommunication

Karen Cortell Reisman, MS, Executive Communication Author & Speaker


  1. Michael Gallant

    in the case of your husband, the difference between a good and bad client is whether they bite him or not. I am going to see him today for some fillings replacements. I intend to bite him. Ha!

    • Karen Cortell Reisman

      “Ha” is right! As a dentist getting bitten can happen but usually not on purpose. Thanks for your feedback. My bet is on YOU being a good client all the time. And that’s because you make people laugh.

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