That Old Friend – Who Fired Us
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That Old Friend – Who Fired Us

That Old Friend – Who Fired Us

That Old Friend – Who Fired Us

I think some of the great television commercials are true works of art. Those that spring to mind are Volkswagen’s (How Does The Guy Who Drives The Snowplow Drive To The Snowplow?), Coca-Cola’s (I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing) and Bob Uecker for Miller Lite (“I Must Be In The Front Row!”).  My personal favorite though is every Budweiser commercial that features the Clydesdales at Christmas.  A little searching on YouTube can readily stoke some very worthwhile nostalgia from these classics.

By far though, my nominee for best business commercial of all time is the United Airlines commercial that can be found at the YouTube address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mU2rpcAABbA.  If you can think of others, we’d like to know about them.

We’ve been using this clip in our Attitude & Action® account management training for many years.  It fits beautifully with both our “Nurturing Professional Relationships” curriculum and “Understanding and Managing Expectations”.  You know how old it is (1990) because they don’t even address email and texting as yet another way we use technology to distance ourselves from our clients.  Undoubtedly, the separation this creates in our business (and personal) relationships is only increasing.

Here’s what I wonder about though.  Once we fly through United’s “friendly skies” what do we actually say to that client when we get there?  “Hey old pal, let’s do lunch?” “How about we go to a ballgame?”  Let’s hope it’s more than that.  Let’s hope we do some real digging about their expectations, our performance, how we can innovate and improve, and the status of our partnership.  Let’s hope we follow-up relentlessly.  Let’s hope that we can be positioning ourselves to answer “The Dreaded Question” (see last week’s blogpost).

As my partner John Gamble has said, “Clients for Life works… but only if you work at it.”  The same is true in our business relationships.  It takes real work.  Faxes, texts and emails aren’t enough.  As Mark Knoffler of Dire Straits famously sang, “That ain’t workin’ …

Steve