Are You Guilty of Fist Bumping Your Clients when They’re Trying to Shake Hands?

A couple of months ago, a really awkward situation took place between Oozle Media’s President, Travis, his beautiful wife, Tara, and an unsuspecting waiter at a restaurant in Sandy, Utah.   Why are we sharing this story with you? For starters, it’s hilarious, and also it has an important message for all business owners (and possibly even their wives).

What went down?

After a satisfying supper, Travis and Tara paid their bill.  When the waiter went to offer Tara his fist, which was full of change, she misread the situation and assumed he was trying to give her a fist bump.  You know, like the infamous fist bump President Obama gave his wife before his inauguration in 2009?

The Obama fist bump, according to Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, became so popular it is now “the most talked-about fist pound on the internet today.”

Unfortunately, the Tara/waiter fist bump didn’t quite have the same affect.

Once Tara fist bumped the waiter, a long, uncomfortable silence followed.  Looking rather sheepish and red in the face, the waiter opened up his fist to show Tara that he was simply trying to give her back the change, not fist bump a customer’s wife.  When Tara realized her mistake she was mortified. For starters, she’s not the kind of girl that goes around fist bumping people, let alone some random waiter trying to offer her some change.

We’re sure she was thinking:  why did I assume this guy was trying to give me a fist bump?! How did I misread the situation so badly?

Turning bright red and lowering her head, Tara grabbed the change and got out of there as fast as she could.  Talk about awkward!

What’s the moral of this story?

When Travis shared this scenario with his Oozle Media staff, we couldn’t help but laugh. However, it also caused us to reflect on how often this type of situation goes down between business owners and their clients every day.  The reason for this is that business owners are just too preoccupied with their own money making agenda, or don’t care enough about building strong client relations to stop and listen. So, assumptions are made and the result is an awkward “fist bumping” type of scenario, which leaves clients feeling angry, disrespected, and unappreciated.

Are you guilty of fist bumping your clients when they’re trying to shake hands?

How many times have you tried to sell your clients a product that they didn’t need or want? Could it be that they’re not cheapskates and their financial situation just isn’t solid? Or perhaps that certain product wasn’t going to help them achieve their goals at that time? If you’d been listening to your clients and sincerely trying to read the signs they’re trying to communicate with you, most likely you’d know exactly what product to sell and when to sell it.

Do your clients know you appreciate them?

Any successful CEO will tell you that a good, solid business is built on positive client relationships, especially considering the importance of client retention and the power of word of mouth. As a smaller-yet-quickly-expanding- business, we have decided it’s time to really solidify the relationships we have with our clients by establishing an Activities Committee.  The purpose of this committee is to ensure our clients know that we appreciate them.  The committee does this by sending gift baskets, cards, e-mails, stopping by their office to check in on things, or even just making a phone call. Simple gestures like these may not seem like a lot, but they are a step above what most clients expect these days.

Yes, we fist bump our clients.

But we can get away with it because we make it a habit to listen and talk less. This approach helps ensure we’re on the same page, so we know when a fist bump is appropriate and when it is not. We have nothing but appreciation and respect for our clients and try to understand their business every step of the way so that we can ensure our services provide true RIO.  After all, we are not just another Utah web development firm, we are RIO experts!

Oozle Media Oozle Media May 11 2011

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