One of my clients was very happy when I visited him on Tuesday morning. Nothing to do with marketing, but as a lifelong Manchester United fan he had just heard about them signing Paul Pogba for £89M.
When I read some of the media coverage about the signing, one thing really stood out to me. Although Pogba had left Manchester United 4 years ago as a 19-year-old, he seemed to have done so without upsetting anyone. And as he left Juventus to become a Manchester United player again, he said some very nice things about the Italian club and their fans. So many top footballers seem to leave their clubs with an exchange of unpleasant words and with the undying hatred of the fans, it was good to see such an amicable transfer.
In business, when one party decides to end a relationship it can be tempting to voice frustrations, try to squeeze out some more money or just make life difficult for the other person, but the short term pleasure this may bring rarely turns out to be a good decision. One of our clients is currently switching creative agencies and the ‘old’ agency are behaving in a way that could at best be described as unhelpful.
They appear to have given little thought to who their ex-client knows or who might ask them about creative agencies they have worked with. They may even meet them again in different circumstances.
When a supplier or customer decides it’s time to end your relationship it’s far better to shake hands, offer help and wish the other party well. You might even ask them for a testimonial or a referral.