The way we conduct business has changed. We went from being out and about within our community to doing business remotely via Zoom (and in some cases, still in our pajamas). This isn’t anything that you haven’t heard, but what’s important to understand is that over the last year we’ve all championed the word “pivot” as we developed new ways to conduct business that still makes a local impact. And now (once again) it’s time for us to pivot. With vaccines becoming more available each and every day, we must think about getting back to being face to face or “F2F” with our customers.
I know the concept of getting F2F may sound scary as we have all been in the mode of social distancing for a year now, but it doesn’t always have to mean you need to be in the same space as your client. It starts with getting re-established with your customer. In a recent blog Warming Up Your Cold Calls, we discussed our method of getting reacquainted with our clients by using a combination of emails and phone calls. These steps will help you get back in the habit of reaching out to those clients (or past clients) that you have not kept up with throughout the pandemic. Then as the lines of communication open back up, you can determine if they are back to the office or still working remotely. If they are open to meeting with you in person in a safe environment, invite them for a cup of coffee… anywhere other than the confinements of our homes. If they’re still working remotely and uncomfortable getting together in person, invite them for a virtual video “cup of joe” and prior to your Zoom discussion, toss them a $5 gift card to a local coffee grinder.
Whether in person or virtual (with your camera “on”), here are some reasons why being F2F with your customer is crucial in building a partnership…
- Strengthens Your Relationship. When you meet someone, first impressions form instantly. The client will get to know you as a person and not just someone who calls/emails them to try and sell something.
- Pick Up On Non-Verbal Cues. When you go into your client’s office (or you see their office virtually) you get an instant understanding about who they are. Is their office neat? Messy? What art do they have on the walls? Do they have awards or diplomas displayed? These cues will give you a good indicator of how you can tailor your approach to them.
- Create Opportunity. While you are out meeting with a client among other individuals, it’s very likely that you’ll be introduced to others whether it’s one of their co-workers or one of your existing clients standing in line at that same local coffee grinder. This will allow you to learn about additional needs that your client may have or help you establish a trust factor, which leads to our final reason.
- Develop Transparency and Trust. If you need to influence someone over an important matter, meeting them in person is the best way to establish trust and transparency. Make a point to schedule monthly, quarterly or annual sessions with your clients. This way you can stay on top of their needs on a reoccurring basis.
It’s more important than ever to get F2F with your clients TODAY. Safety first but at P1 Learning we’ve come up with The 90-Day Challenge to help sellers get back on track in 2021… and we’d like to challenge you to do the same. So here it is… in the next 90 days, you need to contact everyone. Yes, every single one of your existing clients, previous clients, potential clients, everyone on your account list… in the next 90 days. Why? Because what you’re experiencing today is a direct reflection of the work that you put in 90 days ago. By connecting with everyone on your list and re-establishing their needs through the C.N.A., imagine the financial impact that it will have on you, your clients, and your company.
Listen, we’ve heard all of the excuses… “I can’t contact everyone on my account list” or “there’s no way I can tackle this within 90 days”. If you can’t reach out to your clients (existing or previous) and potential clients within the next three months… remove them from your list. If you’re not in front of your client within a 90 day period, can you really call this your account? To start the challenge, map it out. Start small, plan out your week and days so you know how many F2F meetings that you need to make to accomplish the challenge. Trust us, we’re well into our 90 days here at P1 Learning and your customers are looking for ideas and they will be happy to see you again.
Need help getting started with preparing for your F2F meeting? Log into P1 Learning and watch Conducting the Needs Assessment, The Presentation, and 10 Tips to Get the Renewal.
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