How to Maintain Strong Client Relationships Remotely
We live our lives online now more than ever. The pandemic has provided us with the skills and platforms to exist entirely online if we want to. Various surveys conducted worldwide conclude that most of us want to continue working from home or in a hybrid flexi working environment. One survey found that a staggering 97% of respondents felt this way and 58% said they would look for another job if they were forced back into the office full time. Businesses are starting to come round to the idea and 70% of companies surveyed said they are looking to adopt a hybrid scheme of working.
This shift to remote and online working practices filters through to every part of a business. Let us consider client relationships and how they are affected by remote working. Can you maintain client relationships successfully without face to face meetings? You have to work hard at online relationships in the same way you would face to face. Don’t rely on Artificial Intelligence. We know that automation can affect the value a client or customer feels.
Although you cannot physically shake someone’s hand. It is still important to build this level of familiarity and trust in online relationships. You need to become that genuine friend and trusted advisor. You can still be human over zoom! Consider how you build relationships in real life and adapt them. Historically people wrote letters to each other and it was an intimate form of communication. How can we recreate that through our online relationships? Mix automation and technology with old fashioned approaches.
It can be difficult to know all your customers in this way if you run a large organisation. However, finding out where most of your revenue comes from is a useful exercise – Kathleen Cutler says that in her experience it is from just 20% of your client base. Identify those people and tap into them. Spend time on those relationships. Follow them on social media. Set aside time each week to connect with them personally. Then work out how to retain that relationship. What is the next layer of service you can offer them? Building relationships is effectively building your business and you cannot afford not to find the time to invest in relationships with existing clients. Match the time spent in making yourself visible to prospective clients to the time spent nurturing those existing clients who are in your top 20% of revenue providers.
Kathleen Cutler was a recent guest on my Transition Guy podcast, she is a luxury sales expert for fine jewellers. She explained that even collectors have now embraced online sales. She recently had a client sell 43,000 dollars worth of rubies virtually. In the business she operates in, revenue has exploded due to the accessibility that online commerce affords. However, she is keen to point out that her business doesn’t simply involve going to a website and clicking a ‘buy now’ button to purchase fine jewellery. She says “The upturn and increased revenue in conducting business online is relationship driven. It is about utilising old school sales techniques to bridge the gap in the virtual space”. This is a clear example of building solid foundations and relationships to encourage online participation and sales..
If you want help and advice in maintaining strong remote relationships for your business growth contact me.
To hear more of Kathleen Cutler’s sales tips go to the Transition Guy podcast.
Remember, failing to learn is learning to fail.