When Clients Face Bad News: How to Support them in Difficult Times

Have you ever encountered a business relationship where you knew the person was facing bad news on a personal level?  Perhaps it is a client’s medical diagnosis or a death in the family.  Maybe your client is going through a divorce.  In personal situations like these it can be difficult to know what to say and do.

xlient's medical diagnosis

The first thing to consider is how well you know the client or business associate.  If you are a mere acquaintance you might not do anything other than mentally wish them the best.  Sometimes people want to keep their life challenges private and it is best to respect those boundaries.  How do you know whether to let them have some privacy or to reach out and be supportive?  One way is to consider the source you received the information from.  If you “heard it through the grapevine” it might be best to leave it alone.  When your client tells you directly, you know they want you to be aware and a part of their challenges.

What To Do

If you have decided that you are close enough to the person to acknowledge their challenge in some way, it may be hard to know what to do.  One rule of thumb to keep in mind is that anytime you can relieve stress in some way, it will be greatly appreciated.  This might mean providing a cook and serve meal or gift certificate to a restaurant.  It could be hiring a maid service to come in and clean their home for them.  Maybe you could hire an errand service or online grocery store to bring in groceries.  At times of stress, all those little life details often go undone.

The second thing to remember is to acknowledge what they are going through.  This could be a card in the mail with some kind words.  It might be a gift to recognize them in their time of need.  Often in situations like these, people send flowers.  Flowers are wonderful and can really brighten someone’s day.  The problem is they don’t last and if the client’s medical diagnosis or the grieving lasts longer than the flowers do, the encouragement and support you intended are quickly gone.

For a client’s medical diagnosis, a framed inspirational quote or a charm they can keep in their pocket will remind them of you and help them feel encouraged.  For someone who has had a death in the family, I recommend getting a lasting reminder of the deceased like a garden stone or a wall plaque.  These things, if done tastefully will be near to their hearts for years to come.

If you suddenly learn of bad news for one of your business associates, but aren’t sure what to do for them, contact Touch Your Client’s Heart.  We can help you find the perfect way to support those closest to you in business during the bad times as well as the good.

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