Something I have spent a lot of my time on during both lockdowns and more recently, is talking to our clients. On Zoom, on the phone, via email. In a world where everything is becoming so automated and AI-driven, it’s easy to forget the importance of one-on-one communication – especially in the midst of a crisis. Whether you are a large corporate or start-up, we have all been affected by the past 12 months. Clients need partners now more than ever, and forging those partnerships may be simpler than we realise.
Jared Belsky, CEO at 360i and author of The Great Client Partner once said: “being a reliable and effective client partner in uncertain times comes down to being three things: early to address the situation, empathetic to your clients’ needs, and fearless to find solutions”.
The first one is pretty simple. Be early. Anticipate your client’s needs. Instead of waiting for our clients to panic and call us, we can pick up the phone first. I regularly speak to my clients, the line of communication is always open and this certainly helps to pick up any red flags early on before it turns into a crisis.
Be empathetic. When you’re working with people, business is always personal. And client partnerships are never more personal than in a crisis. Also keep in mind that, while we typically spend 90% of our time thinking about our clients, on a good day they only think about us 10% of the time. And today, beyond keeping their business afloat, they might also be worried about paying their mortgage, caring for an ailing parent, or fighting for their teams’ jobs.
See this crisis as an opportunity to go the extra mile for your clients and connect with them not only on commercial pursuits but also on a personal level. By doing so, you will gain even more of your clients’ trust and confidence. Have you picked up the phone and asked your clients how the outbreak of this pandemic has hit them commercially? Have you asked them how they plan to cope with the sudden lockdown of economic activity? Have you asked how you can help them build a contingency plan?
Finally, be fearless in pursuit of finding solutions for your clients, because ultimately this is what our clients need from us. They have a problem and we are there to help them solve it. If your client sees that you are going out of your way to help them solve a problem, it will strengthen your bond way beyond after the crisis has passed.
Onwards and upwards!
Daniel Gross – CEO