As I mentioned in this video, “Three Things to Help Client Relations During the Pandemic,” now is a time to relate to your clients and customers, not sell.
I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t do any selling. You can…but it must come from your client’s request, not yours. But before you even get to that point, you must find out more about their current situation, how they are handling the global shutdown and pandemic, what affect it has had on them personally, and what impact this will have on their short and long-term goals. Ultimately, you will pick up share by relating at this level during a time when so much has been upended.
Make a Contact Plan
I always say that when you systematize your process, you take the ‘guesswork” out of your client relationships. That’s even more true in these times of uncertainty. So first, make a list of your past twelve months of clients. Determine what the last contact you had with them was, the result, and if you had intended to follow up. Once COVID hit, a lot of those plans probably fell by the wayside, which is fine. But you need to know where you are starting up again with each client.
Contact with Intention
Next, contact them. Your intention should primarily be one of relating, not selling. This is the time to ask about them and their families. It’s so important that you be interested, not interesting. Don’t use this conversation as entre into your selling objectives. Rather, take this opportunity to connect. The more you relate to your clients now with the intention of strengthening your emotional connection to them, the more likely they will engage with you post-sheltering this summer or fall. If you don’t do this now, don’t expect to connect then.
It’s quite gratifying to just listen to clients you respect and enjoy working with. You also get to ask them about their thoughts on Covid-19, their organization’s plans for reentry, whether in September or January 2021. This will be very helpful for you to gauge when your next contact time will be. And, who knows, they might even say that they’ll need your advice shortly.
Converse with No Distractions
And as a tactical tip…as you engage via videoconference with your clients, make sure the experience is a seamless one. Test your audio and visual presentation so that you are sure it is performing optimally. Avoid the Five Pitfalls of Videoconferencing that I wrote about early in this pandemic. You don’t want any distractions when you are having these important conversations.
It’s essential now to provide a professional digital experience while being human and empathetic.
And a final note…if YOU are struggling with how to balance your professional life with some increased stress from the “next normal” created by the pandemic, let’s talk. Without trying to sound like an old Army commercial, I really am here to help you be the best that you can be. Stay safe. – SG