They key to a successful long-term client relationship is….. Collaboration! Working together to make each other better is how you create loyal, repeat business.
It’s never “my idea or nothing” nor should it be “just make the client happy”. Somewhere in-between these extremes is the place where real, productive collaboration happens.
A prime example is the first full-time client we signed as The Golding Group: Rococo Restaurants. Not only are they our longest running clients, they are one of our favorites as well. If you know Owner/Chef Bruce Rinehart then you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, let’s just say he is very much his own man. The key to our lasting relationship is brutal (I do mean brutal) honesty and a dedication to the brand.
We were lucky enough to know Chef Bruce and his wonderful restaurants as friends and fans long before we started working together. A brilliant businessman, Chef Bruce along with his wife Amber, Executive Chef Jason Bustamante and the Rococo management team have built a highly successful pair of Oklahoma City restaurants and a growing catering company. We could list their extensive food and wine awards if we only had the space.
The work we do with Chef Bruce and crew is growing the catering business, pushing the leadership to new levels of excellence and trying to get that last, elusive 10% of business needed to hit 100% of their goals. This is no easy task, but one we are excited to engage every single day. We feel confident in our work with Rococo because of the collaborative nature of our relationship with Chef Bruce and crew. We won’t let Chef Bruce take anything for granted, and he won’t let us just throw money around without justification. It’s the type of relationship that neither ever gets exactly what they want, but both eventually get exactly what they need.
Just like a marriage, a long-term working relationship has to be based on what’s best for both parties: mutual respect and the ability to fight/yell/disagree but get over it quick and get right back to doing what needs to be done. If you let ego or the need to win get in the way, you’re destined to fail.
We are huge fans of Chef Bruce and his guiding principle of staying true to “who we are, what we do and how we do it” for the Rococo brand. His attention to detail, continual push to be better and loyalty to those around him make this guy a great example of “Best Client”. Everyday Chef Bruce teaches us how to be better at business leadership, and we try to show him how to apply his “restaurant smarts” to a larger business entity. Together, we make each other better at what we do.
Not everything we do for Rococo works perfectly. We have made mistakes. But in the end, we work alongside our client to get them to their goals, not ours. We have fun, tell each other the truth and always push each other to better every single day. We have a lot more in store for the Rococo brand in the upcoming months. We can’t tell you yet, but don’t worry you will not be able to miss it when it happens.
The key is a collaboration mindset. Find that spot where the client and the consultant meet, and then push yourself and your client to be better every day. By helping the client reach their goals, you automatically reach yours.