After chasing new clients for weeks or months, you have landed an in-person meeting and you and your team are excited. This could prove to be a boon for your career and business. But just as you are preparing yourself and putting the final touches for the big presentation, you find yourself in the middle of the worst pandemic in a century.
Fret not. There are innovative ways you can still conduct the meeting during the pandemic:
#1. Whenever Possible Move Meetings To Video
In-person meetings are the holy grail of business meetings. However, in the difficult times, we live in, you can use alternatives to keep things moving. For instance, you can offer to use video conferencing or teleconferencing to hold the meeting, rather than rescheduling the meeting. Such an offer will make your clients feel you value their time and business and you are not bailing out on the meeting.
Online financial advisors at Max Funding say “Platforms play an essential role in bringing people/business together.” They suggest, “whether you opt to use video conferencing or teleconferencing, ensure you test the platform you will use. Moreover, ensure you have a strong and reliable connection in advance of the meeting.”
Importantly, create a detailed breakdown of your meeting to give your clients a reference during the meeting. The detailed breakdown will help clients attain a better understanding of the meeting and it might convince them not to take another meeting.
#2. Prioritise Your Client’s Needs
You should be cognisant of the fact that some people are on higher alert than others, depending on location. As such, your client might be in a different situation to yours. With this in mind, you should prioritise the health and wellbeing of all parties, rather than pushing for the meeting to proceed as initially planned. This is the time to check in with your colleagues, partners, and prospects and ensure they are safe and healthy.
Keep in mind that even when a client is healthy, their business and personal life has been impacted in some way by the coronavirus preventive measures. Be empathetic when communicating with them. Reach out to clients and find out whether they need/want to adjust the meeting formats/times owing to changes in their personal routine, for instance, mandated work from home while having kids at home.
Crucially, you should appreciate and understand that everyone’s schedule has changed and in many cases, it is still changing rapidly. Clients will need you to accommodate them in your schedule as they react to coronavirus-caused events on a daily basis. Taking this approach will help retain your clients and grow your relationship that much more.
#3. Increase The Communication Frequency With Your Clients
If you hold meetings with clients after every fortnight or once every month, consider doubling your communication. Consistent communication is a good way to strengthen your relationship with clients while keeping them calm and feeling secure.
A study shows that companies that communicate effectively had a 47% higher return to shareholders over a five-year period.
#4. Set Goals On How To Grow Your Relationship In The Future
Holding your scheduled meeting right now might be in your best interest. However, you need to understand that relationship building is not a sprint even but a marathon. Prioritise long-term goals – where do you see your relationship in the next 6 to 12 months?
People tend to remember the business partners who went the extra mile during difficult times. You need to strengthen your business relationships during these difficult times to ensure your relationship can last a lifetime. Prioritise your clients’ needs now and you will reap the benefits in the future.
#5. Schedule Future In-Person Meetings
With the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic yet to manifest itself fully, it is difficult to know what will happen in the next few weeks. It is best that you look a few months out. And if you plan to schedule any meetings, schedule during the fall/summer months, which will give you a commitment for a future live in-person meeting.