If you are like me, each day during these times you often wake up anxious, skeptical, and then…hopeful (I wish it we in a diffident order). Well, so do our clients.
Understanding this and factoring it into our business development ideas and recommendations is mission-critical. Like I wrote in my last post, now is the time to relate, then sell.
Push vs. Pull Relating
Here’s what I mean. Recently, several Fortune 50 clients created exquisite presentations on the effects of COVID-19 and sent them out to their clients as a form of edification. While this process is a sound one, it’s not enough to drive client engagement or business development. This “push” action provided useful information but, it didn’t gather useful information. My clients needed to follow this up with a phone call to “pull” from their clients how the pandemic shutdown is affecting them, personally and professionally. That’s where the real relating happens!
Three Steps to Stay Relationally Connected
Here’s a process you can use to systematically, but with heart, engage with your clients.
Part one: synthesize two to three pages of important data that you will give to your clients. Think of it as a gift to assist them in underwriting their business going into the second half of this year when we slowly and tentatively begin to emerge from our virtual hibernation. The truth is we will all emerge. But are you helping your clients come out of this smarter, more commercial, and effective?
Part two: call them and walk them through the data and linking the data you sent directly to their business. This shows how affirmational you want to be and how prescient you are relative to their challenges. Take time to listen to their reactions. Use probing questions to draw them out and get real intel you can use.
Part three: facilitate a brainstorming session using the data you sent to support the commercial recommendation you have that will truly help their business. This part defines your relational behavior. Don’t sell them on the recommendation, just discuss it. If your recommendation is solid, they will draw the link…you won’t have to.
Above all, relate to your clients now and uncover their “new” pain that you can mend. Staying connected at this level will bolster your status as a trusted adviser well into the future.