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In the new norm of virtual connection, you cannot afford to be complacent with your client relationship building.

Here we are in the year 2021, a year filled with endless possibilities despite the current global state of Covid-19. Businesses have become mobile and jobs remote, changing the way in which we work or think about business, from physical meetings to virtual catch-ups over platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Hangouts.

We no longer set up meetings with potential or existing clients, we simply send links to platforms and engage virtually or telephonically, at times video calling and other times just voices but the connection has been enlightening as we change the way in which we conduct business development and client relationship management.

The lockdown process during the past year has been a stringent one, leaving many with doubts around the future of business and with overheads that have created pressures never possessed before. Concerns around being able to maintain offices and business premises have become prevalent and in turn, many jobs have been lost, through companies having to downsize.

Throughout the midst of all of this, it has become more and more apparent that relationships are far more important than services and products provided by organisations and as such, it is my opinion that the age-old emphasis on keeping your clients happy, has become increasingly important, now more than ever.

People tend to think that when providing a solution or service, there is no need for the niceties and special attention to detail, however, the past year has taught us that social aspects of life have been trimmed down and feelings of loneliness, disparity and detachment have increased amongst human beings. The number one rule in building any relationship is that of emotional connection, which entails building a relationship of a personal nature, taking the time to understand the person you are connecting with and includes getting to know the impact that Covid has taken on them.

Actively listening to your client, albeit about having to do children’s homework whilst balancing a work and home life from one location, can be the difference between having a solid and ongoing business partnership or moving to the bottom of their list of preferred suppliers.

Transparency is another key element of relationship building, specifically when it comes to the needs of your client, as surprises down the drag can completely cripple the bridge on which your relationship has been build. Always under-promise and over-deliver. Being a reliable partner to any business or any individual builds a trust relationship that can outlast, outweigh and outwit any competitor, shining you in a light of trustworthiness. What you say is what you do, showcase the type of values your business upholds and in turn build a ‘partnership’ rather than supplier and client relationship.

Be kind; when people are under so much pressure and their life as they know it, has changed so drastically, having one kind word or statement in their favour can transform your working relationship into something that lasts and adds value to both parties.

I leave you with one notion: If you nurture your client relationships as well as you do your personal, the longevity and quality of those relationships can be infinitely rewarding, and nothing markets business better than word of mouth. Keep connected and stay in touch!