What Game of Thrones Taught Me About Client Relations

Posted by Jamie Kreft in Uncategorized

This summer I FINALLY jumped on the Game of Thrones bandwagon. I know I am a little behind (currently on Season 4 Episode 3), but HBOGo login credentials don’t just fall into my lap every day.

As I have been binge-watching the show for a few weeks now, I realized that there are some great client relation lessons to be learned here…and not just that you can chop off THAT ONE client’s hand when they are being difficult.

Warning: I will try my best not to reveal any spoilers! But you know how that goes sometimes.

Lesson One

“A Lannister always pays his debts.” – The Lannisters

The unofficial Lannister motto and probably one of the most repeated and memorable lines on the show. Simply put, The House of Lannister pride themselves on being a really rich family who will always pay back whatever they owed anyone.6467666175_b42208c68f

Now one might argue that this saying might be more about revenge then honor, but we are going to keep things on the positive side for the sake of building solid client relations.

In this case, paying your debts refers to giving your clients what they pay for. Your clients have given you all of their gold…and now you owe them some results. In an ideal world you would have a clearly defined scope of work that would deliver “X” amount of results in a certain amount of time.

However, things don’t always happen as they appear on paper. In our business, if the results aren’t happening for your client, you gotta do whatever it takes to get them where they need to be.

Don’t just sit there and tell your clients, “Well I did the work I was supposed to do, I am sorry that you didn’t see the results.”

If things aren’t going as planned, be proactive and change your strategy before it’s too late. Otherwise your clients will have your head on a stick in no time.

Lesson Two

“Wise men do not make demands of kings.” – Catelyn Stark

Have you ever had a client send you a seemingly out-of-the-blue, disgruntled email about the product or service you have been providing them when, on your end, things seem to be going great?

I know I have gotten these emails a time or two. At first I was shocked to receive them and was always tempted to respond, “What the hell are you talking about?! Your campaign is going great!”

But then I took a step back to realize that while my client may appear to be upset, underneath it all they are really just confused.  (On top of that, email isn't always the best communicator of emotion and can be easily misread!)

In this case, I am the king and my clients are the “wise men.” Now, if they were a bit more wise, they might not be making such demands. BUT, it was really my fault…I was not giving them the proper knowledge they needed to be wise regarding this particular situation.

The point here? Make sure you are communicating CLEARLY and EFFECTIVELY to your clients. They're investing a lot of money. It's your job to put them at ease and ensure that their business is safe in your hands.

It’s important to note that every client is different, and some will need more nurturing than others. No need to email a client every day if he only wants an email once a week.

But if a client wants you to communicate with him every day, do so. Even if it’s just a few sentences that reiterates what they already know. Keep them at ease and you will keep your head!

Lesson Three

 “Any man who must say, I am the king, is no true king.” – Tywin Lannister

Oh Tywin. Love him or hate him, this guy is a pretty damn good leader. In the above quote he is referring to King Joffrey who, well, sucked.

And that is putting it nicely.joff

One of the (many) problems with Joffrey was that while he talked the talk of a king…but he had absolutely no idea how to walk the walk.

This principle can easily apply to you and your business.

You can talk to your clients all you want about the benefits of your company and the amazing results you can deliver them. But unless you ACTUALLY deliver said results, you are no better than King Joffrey on his wedding day.

And for those of you who haven’t watched the show or read the books, I will not ruin it for you. But trust me on this one, it wasn’t a good thing.


There is never a dull moment when watching Game of Thrones. Same goes for working with your clients!

Now I’d love to hear from you: What else can Game of Thrones teach us about client relations?