Management InSites

Building Relationships During COVID-19

As many salespeople know, travel restrictions and the need for physical distance due to the COVID-19 pandemic has meant reimagining what building and maintaining relationships looks like. As previously addressed, some digital trends (virtual meetings, having e-documentation, and online ordering) have been ramped up even further as a result. The disruption to sales and marketing activities as a whole has meant the need to:

  • Develop effective interactive sales presentations on video conferencing platforms;
  • Emphasize solutions to customers’ problems, not just focus on a product’s characteristics; and
  • Redirect “typical” marketing dollars (i.e. trade show expenses) to support a bigger digital strategy.

These are all important pivots, but often what is lost is the reminder that your customers are all, first and foremost, people. And not just that, but people who are also struggling through this pandemic in myriad ways. This post brings us back to one of the fundamental things that makes a good salesperson – their ability to connect with their customers.

How salespeople did this in the past varies given the industry and their likes and interests. For example, customers could be taken to lunch, dinner, or the bar, where discussions could veer in a multitude of non-work directions. Or, perhaps, relationship-building took place on the golf course; at a football, basketball, or baseball game; or during a hunting or fishing adventure. Social distancing and travel restrictions may make these impossible in the near and distant future.

While we do not yet have all the answers on how relationships can be built virtually, we have ideas. As a starter, we suggest instituting a rule to set aside the first few minutes of any meeting or email to check in with the person on a personal level. Find out how their family is doing, how their week has been, how they spent their weekend, and more. During this time, find out what you have in common. For example, if you are both gamers, what games do they play? Can you invite them to virtually hang out with you afterwork or on the weekend while you both play Fortnite? Other virtual boding activities include:

  • Film appreciation – create or join a virtual watch party.
  • Card/board games – start a Chess with Friends match (or any other online game platform).
  • Food – teach them how to make one of your family’s recipes.
  • Wine – start a virtual wine club where you try different varieties and compare.
  • Books – invite them to your virtual book club.
  • Sports – virtually watch a match (or an old one) together.

You can also switch to a more friendly means of communication. For example, texting was once primarily used for personal communication, but it is becoming more widely used between professionals. Sending a quick, “Did you see that game?!” – or similar type message given the identified shared common passion – is an easy way to genuinely communicate with someone no matter how close or far they are from you.

We should all go above and beyond to create real relationships – those will be the customers that will stick with you through the thick and thin.

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Read more
  • International Shipping and Incoterms

    When dealing with shipping internationally, especially from abroad to the U.S., setting the terms of the transaction from the moment the customer requests a quote is incredibly important. To avoid problems, unwanted costs, and even potential legal issues, there should be no room for confusion or ambiguity in the contract you set up with your customer.

    March 8, 2021
  • Shipping with HS and HTS Codes

    If your organization intends to ship or receive items to or from overseas, it is important to understand an integral part of the international shipping process: the Harmonized System (HS) and Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), which were developed by the World Customs Organization.

    February 8, 2021
  • The Right Content for Your Content Strategy

    In this post, we explore the type of content to consider posting across platforms for a strong content strategy. Content can come in many forms.

    January 27, 2021
  • The Importance of Depreciation and Asset Management

    In a previous post, we discussed the importance of maintaining good accounting and bookkeeping practices. One aspect of proper bookkeeping includes tracking depreciation and asset management.

    January 7, 2021
How can we help you?
Contact us or submit a business inquiry online.

Building Relationships During COVID-19

As many salespeople know, travel restrictions and the need for physical distance due to the COVID-19 pandemic has meant reimagining what building and maintaining relationships looks like. As previously addressed, some digital trends (virtual meetings, having e-documentation, and online ordering) have been ramped up even further as a result. The disruption to sales and marketing activities as a whole has meant the need to:

  • Develop effective interactive sales presentations on video conferencing platforms;
  • Emphasize solutions to customers’ problems, not just focus on a product’s characteristics; and
  • Redirect “typical” marketing dollars (i.e. trade show expenses) to support a bigger digital strategy.

These are all important pivots, but often what is lost is the reminder that your customers are all, first and foremost, people. And not just that, but people who are also struggling through this pandemic in myriad ways. This post brings us back to one of the fundamental things that makes a good salesperson – their ability to connect with their customers.

How salespeople did this in the past varies given the industry and their likes and interests. For example, customers could be taken to lunch, dinner, or the bar, where discussions could veer in a multitude of non-work directions. Or, perhaps, relationship-building took place on the golf course; at a football, basketball, or baseball game; or during a hunting or fishing adventure. Social distancing and travel restrictions may make these impossible in the near and distant future.

While we do not yet have all the answers on how relationships can be built virtually, we have ideas. As a starter, we suggest instituting a rule to set aside the first few minutes of any meeting or email to check in with the person on a personal level. Find out how their family is doing, how their week has been, how they spent their weekend, and more. During this time, find out what you have in common. For example, if you are both gamers, what games do they play? Can you invite them to virtually hang out with you afterwork or on the weekend while you both play Fortnite? Other virtual boding activities include:

  • Film appreciation – create or join a virtual watch party.
  • Card/board games – start a Chess with Friends match (or any other online game platform).
  • Food – teach them how to make one of your family’s recipes.
  • Wine – start a virtual wine club where you try different varieties and compare.
  • Books – invite them to your virtual book club.
  • Sports – virtually watch a match (or an old one) together.

You can also switch to a more friendly means of communication. For example, texting was once primarily used for personal communication, but it is becoming more widely used between professionals. Sending a quick, “Did you see that game?!” – or similar type message given the identified shared common passion – is an easy way to genuinely communicate with someone no matter how close or far they are from you.

We should all go above and beyond to create real relationships – those will be the customers that will stick with you through the thick and thin.