What is the best way to “break up” or cut ties with a service provider?
The honeymoon is over. You have decided to move on from this non-beneficial relationship. The time has come to break ties, cut them loose, break up, but what if breaking that relationship is harder than you thought?
In the business world, canceling a contract with a vendor, switching management companies, or leaving a community is a difficult task to do. All in all, it’s just a business relationship…right? Well, relationships even in business create emotions and feelings. It’s human nature. Too many times we hold on to a one-sided relationship because we like to give second, third, or even ten chances! We tell ourselves “things will get better,” or “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.” All of these sayings that we tell ourselves to try to avoid the difficult conversations or delay the inevitable only end up causing more stress, less free time, and an influx of complaints.
Here are a few ways that could help you through the break-up process:
- When deciding to end the partnership, think over what you want and why the current situation is not working. Talk to board members, other managers or your boss to help you understand what goals you want to accomplish, and decide whether or not the current provider, company, or community can help you achieve it. It is okay to make a change! Do not rush into this decision, take time to think through it thoroughly and come up with solutions.
- Come prepared with what you are going to say and back up your decision with facts and true feelings. Think about the conversation and how it might play out. Try to role play with a friend or coworker. This can help you overcome and prepare for objections by the other half of the partnership.
- Be honest. Telling the truth is important in all relationships. Business relationships should be no different from personal. The truth may hurt, but it will make it easier for both parties. Tell the truth, but there is no need to be mean about it. You are already breaking up the relationship, which is harsh enough.
- End the relationship in person or on the phone. Email is impersonal. Yes…it is easier. CYBER BULLY! Just kidding… but it’s more professional and the other half of the relationship will respect you for it.
As a service provider in the property management industry, we understand that sometimes the partnership ends. No one is perfect and mistakes happen, However, if at the end of the day we lose the job, we may cry a little. But we learn from our mistakes and move on to the next one. It’s a part of business.
Breaking up in hard to do. People struggle with it all the time, but when you have the ability to help yourself, the community you serve, or your management company, you know it’s the best thing to do. I hope the honeymoon never ends and the partnership lasts. If it doesn’t, I hope these tips help you in the “I’m sorry, but we just aren’t suited for each other anymore,” break up.
By Frannie Crouse
Frannie is a business developer at BrightView Landscape Services. BrightView has 11 branches in the Washington Metro area and specializes in providing a wide range of landscape services, including snow removal, tree care, design and irrigation, to homeowners associations.