Management InSites

Building Relationships During COVID-19

Read more
  • Servicing Your Customers from a Distance During COVID-19 and Beyond

    When providing service for your company’s products is an integral part of your model, it can be challenging to adjust to a time when in-person contact is not only frowned upon, but even prohibited in certain parts of the world.

    June 18, 2020
  • Is Your Organizational Culture Prepared for COVID-19?

    Everyone agrees that COVID-19 is disrupting businesses in ways that will be felt for quite some time. What we consider “normal” working behaviors will shift. In particular, we see three issues that will drive how sales, marketing, and service will need to adapt to the new “normal”.

    June 18, 2020
  • In a COVID-19 World, It’s Not All Bad

    Since the world first encountered COVID-19 at the end of 2019, life for almost everyone has gotten more complicated. In order to avoid becoming infected with this potentially deadly disease, people have taken extreme measures to stay safe.

    June 18, 2020
  • Glossary – Documents Needed to Establish a U.S. Company

    Starting a company in the U.S. is a fairly quick and easy process. Normally, you can apply and have your company registered in less than a week. While easy, there are some things you should have in order to set yourself up for success.

    June 17, 2020
How can we help you?
Contact us or submit a business inquiry online.

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.