Marketers, like everyone else, have seen a lot of change over the course of the last six months. While strategies, tactics, and budgets have had to be flexible, one thing should have remained at the top of the priority list – relationships.
In my blog post from January, I talked about how marketers should always strive to be known as a trusted advisor rather than just a “vendor.” The same rings true now, maybe even more so, in August. At Chartwell, we believe if you can be looked to as the expert and reliable source, in times of crisis, you will be looked to with more confidence and less hesitation from current clients and potential prospects.
Below are tips on how you can continue to build and enhance relationships with clients when typical relationship-building strategies may not be possible.
Recognize and understand your clients’ current challenges and opportunities.
It’s very possible your clients have had to adjust their business strategies, whether it’s dealing with limited hours or adjusting the products or services they offer.It’s crucial to stay connected to your clients and understand their current landscape so you can ensure you are providing the best counsel to them on how they should communicate to their customers and spend their marketing dollars. It’s also important to understand their overall industry and how it’s being impacted by the current situation. This will help you with the next point.
Bring new ideas to the table.
Businesses are all experiencing different emotions and tensions right now. Some businesses are busier than ever, and others are trying to figure out how to keep their doors open. As a marketer, it’s imperative to continue to think of new ideas and share them with your clients. Don’t be afraid to share something new because you are concerned about budget or resources. Even if your suggestion doesn’t work now, it may be valid down the road or may lead to more conversations and an idea that could come to fruition in the near future.
Be quick to respond.
While some aspects of the world have slowed down, business decisions and adjustments to strategies are having to be made quickly. Be attentive to your clients and respond in a timely fashion. Even if you don’t have an answer to their question or solution to their challenge, make sure they know you received their request and are working to respond. Never leave your clients guessing if you got their message.
We can all use some good news and reasons to celebrate right now. When your client has a win, no matter how big or small – or if it’s relevant to marketing or not – take the time to pause and celebrate. This will show the client you are paying attention and care about their overall success. A small gift, a card or a simple email go a long way in forging relationships.
Humanize the situation.
The current situation, while certainly a challenge can also be an opportunity to connect with others in meaningful ways. Whether it’s connecting with a client and joking about the kids hijacking a Zoom meeting or chatting about new hobbies you have picked up since March, even virtual check-ins are a great way to share experiences and add a human element to your working relationship. Video calls are a great way to be authentic as you are inviting people “into your home.” Connect by asking about a piece of artwork or other items you notice.
For the remainder of the year, keep focusing on building strong relationships with your customers as it will pay off immensely as we move into the latter part of the year. Need support? Call Chartwell Agency to support your continuing efforts.