Throughout my career, and actually well
before, I’ve relied on the communication tactic known as Just The Basic Facts.
No, I’m not referring to a Pink Floyd lyric, rather the approach one must use
when dealing with communication confrontation. Stick to the facts and the
truth will set you free (or something like that).
While my recent posts have been dealing
with communication, I have been using a very recent and relevant example to
emphasize certain points. It is an unfortunate recent and relevant example. A
client who has no patience, does not understand how to manage her emotions,
does not think, speak or write rationally, and who does not rely on any facts
As you may recall, I have taken extreme
abuse from this client, something more than I’ve ever experienced in my 20+
year career. False accusations have been guiding her rants due to her lack of
knowledge, her lack of understanding why she hired us in the first place, and
her poor business acumen. It really is a shame because her former employee, the
assigned project manager, was a true delight to work with and she was very
Regardless of the ways in which I and my
firm have been treated, I must remain steadfast in my communications, since she
still is considered a client at this time. Sure, I could raise my voice, or I
could throw vulgarity her way in an email. What would that get me? Nothing.
Instead, I’ve maintained my composure (see last week’s post), and I have buried
her in facts. Facts cannot be disputed. The facts are documented in a legal and
binding agreement for which she signed. The facts of what was and was not
included in her specific project were witnessed and documented by others in her
own organization as well as my own. Facts are facts whether she likes it or
not. And, because we deal in just the basic facts, she can only use her foul
mouth to attempt to sway us into believing she is right about any of our business dealings. Again, I say, what a shame.
Sales is a fantastic profession and one
I am proud to be a part of. Like any chosen profession though, there are up’s
and down’s. I’ve tried to mitigate the down’s. Occasionally, there may be a
dispute between a company and customer, between a boss and an employee, between
two employees, between parent and child, or between spouses. Getting angry and
venting may occur, even in the best of situations, but when you manage emotion,
keep your composure, and work on just the basic facts, both parties will come
to an amicable understanding. When the one side doesn’t want to work with facts
or simply does not believe in facts, well then they unfortunately lose.