Creative ways to nurture client relationships during COVID-19

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A worldwide pandemic has changed the nature of work for everyone. But, for brokers and sales people who are used to being out and about connecting with clients and building relationships, almost everything about our jobs has changed.

Yet that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a job to do! Arguably, serving employers and our clients in the HR world is even more important, as these are the people trying to manage layoffs and furloughs, support employee well-being, and lead remote teams.

Serving clients today requires creativity and innovation. It’s about being resourceful in how and when you connect with clients, because we all want to feel connected right now. In fact, without travel and the distractions of the office, your HR clients might even have more time to touch base! And their needs have changed, too. There’s a natural opportunity to inquire and add value.

What are some of the creative ways brokers and sales people are engaging HR leaders while working from home? What can you do to initiate new relationships, care for existing clients, and bring a bit of fun to an otherwise challenging time?

Here are three interesting approaches to consider as you think about how to make the most of this time at home and build and maintain key relationships:

Did someone say BYOC?

Who couldn’t use a Happy Hour right now? With many bars and restaurants closed and many hesitant about going out, there is another way. What about a curbside Happy Hour, BYOC (bring your own chair) style! This is an easy way to reconnect in a casual environment, from a safe distance. Everyone is itching to get out of the house and many crave interaction with those outside of their family. Not only are you caring for the wellbeing of your colleagues and clients, but you are making connections, adding value, and taking a much-needed break. Of course, this approach only works if your clients are local, but what a great way to “see” your clients at a time when few are.

The new Lunch and Learn

The lunch meeting doesn’t really exist right now, but a virtual lunch and learn is a win-win, for clients and local restuarants. Set up the virtual lunch meeting with your client. But, instead of assuming the client will provide his or her own lunch, send along a $15-20 gift card ahead of time to a local restaurant or delivery service. This way, your client is treated to lunch — and they’re supporting a local restaurant! And, you have the opportunity to share product and solution offerings to fit the client’s needs.

Clients appreciate the chance to connect in a way that is both meaningful and familiar. Plus, they feel good about the chance to support their local economy and favorite restaurants, too.

Memes to make it fun

Another challenge of engaging with clients right now is the sheer amount of information being shared. When everyone is suffering from information overload, in every capacity of life, it’s important to get creative and incorporate interactive elements. That could mean including memes and quizzes to capture — and keep — your clients’ attention in virtual presentations. After all, everyone could use a little humor right now! Using quizzes in your presentations is another nice tool to keep clients engaged throughout. You can even take it up a notch by announcing the quiz early in your presentation along with the fact that you’ll be giving away an Amazon gift card if they can provide the right answer! Even a simple approach like that can keep clients engaged a bit more.

Beef up your social media presence

You’ve all probably heard it before. You need to have a presence on social media. But, due to limited time, more pressing issues, and a general uncertainty about how to put yourself out there, you might have been putting this one off. With people being at home, there’s more opportunity than ever to reach them on LinkedIn. So, clean up that profile and start connecting. Even better, start producing some content of your own. Write articles, record a video or join groups and start participating in conversations. When all your networking is digital, social media should definitely be a tool in your arsenal.

This is no time to stop connecting and nurturing your client relationships. It’s a time to pause, assess, strategize, and pivot to address evolving needs. Even if you’ve relied on face-to-face interactions to connect, build relationships and make sales, there are creative options you can use. It’s about finding the right solution. It’s about stepping outside your comfort zone. It’s about finding an approach that is both familiar and responsible in a world of uncertainty.

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