Since March, many of us have been doing the bulk of our business from home. And even if you’ve had the luxury (yes, I said luxury) of getting out of the house and going into the office, you’ve likely had to conduct a lot of business via Zoom, Skype, Go-To Meeting, etc… For those of us who’ve always believed that creating personal connections and fostering authentic relationships with clients is the best and most effective way to do business, this poses more than a small problem.
The good news in the bad news here is that EVERYBODY’S DOING IT. From watching our children adjust to at-home learning, to virtual doctor’s appointments, to families hanging out via Google Hangouts, we’re all in the same strange boat. So the question becomes, how do I tailor my business strategies to this new world while making my clients feel that they’re still getting a genuine piece of me? We’ve got a few suggestions that’ll help you close the real-life gap between you and your clients.
PLAY CATCH UP
People are dealing with big life shake ups across the board. Maybe their college age child has had to replan their education. Maybe an elderly parent has been isolated for months. When scheduling virtual meetings with clients, build in a few extra minutes at both ends solely devoted to checking in on them. How has quarantine been for them? Is everyone healthy? What strange new challenges have they faced on the home front? This will allow for an extra layer of personalization that clients might be missing these days.
BE OVERLY AVAILABLE
People are having to change their schedules to accommodate their businesses and their family’s new found circumstances. If your clients used to hearing from you strictly between the hours of 9am-5pm, reach out and let them know you can and will “meet” with them whenever it’s best for them. Falling on that sword shows them that you understand the challenges of this new landscape and you’re willing to adjust the way you do business to suit their needs.
NO WIFI - NO PROBLEM
Though it seems almost impossible to believe, some people in the year 2020 still don’t have WiFi. Or even electronics for that matter. In these cases we recommend breaking the rules - safely. Have elderly clients or clients who always insist on meeting face to face because that’s just how they do business? Suggest a safe, socially-distant, mask-to-mask meeting. We’ve seen lots of people get creative when it comes to seeing loved ones during quarantine, so what’s stopping you from doing the same for your clients?
In times like these when we know everyone’s lives have been affected in one way or another, maybe the best business is no business. Make the time or take the time to simply call, send a text or email, write a letter - WHATEVER - and ask if there’s anything you can do to help. Are they in need and is there a way you can be of service? In this time of isolation, you’d be surprised what a simple phone call can do for someone.
These are unprecedented times for the bulk of us but that doesn’t mean you have to jump ship on the personal aspect of running your business. Just because you can’t meet in person, doesn’t mean you have to operate impersonally. Follow these few pointers for finding meaningful ways to run your business remotely and we think your clients will be virtually delighted.