Covid-19 has forced many bankers to socially distance themselves and work remotely, but that does not mean you cannot be building relationships with clients and prospects. In fact, your clients and prospects are seeking a connection with you more than ever. But, how do we make a connection and continue to build rapport if we cannot physically meet?
Yes, our sales ingenuity is being tested right now, but fundamental rapport building skills have not changed. Only the method of delivery has.
Some valuable ways of building rapport with a client or prospect include:
- Using their name and any other personal references you may know.
- Researching their business and complimenting them on any achievements.
- Discussing common interests and connections.
- Mirroring their language / tone (this can even be done in writing).
- Being sincerely empathetic and interested in their current challenges. Asking questions and focusing discussion on them.
- Being genuinely enthusiastic about connecting with them.
- Offering free information/advice or inviting them to a webinar/function that can help them in this current climate.
- Committing to follow up actions.
- Send a gift or a card.
All of the above rapport building strategies can be delivered over the phone, ZOOM, email, mail or LinkedIn (or any other form of social media messaging). Just because you are not currently meeting in person, doesn’t mean you cannot still make a connection and build rapport.
Make a list of your key clients and prospects you want to connect with and aim to outreach via a variety of these other methods at least 2 – 3 times over the next 2 months. My strongest advice however is to at least formally schedule a phone or ZOOM meeting for say 30 – 60 minutes like you would an in-person meeting.