Rolodex’s have been replaced with CRM systems. Personalized letters have been replaced by email and text messages. What has not changed is the basics of human interaction and the need for relationships. It has always been true but with the events of the past few months it is more critical than every before. As the world came to a grinding halt over the pandemic, both individuals and business alike were forced to change the nature of their relationships. No longer could sales reps go out on to the street and make face to face sales calls. After hours social gathering stopped. The entire social energy of human kind was placed on pause.
Now that we are all in some phase of adaptation to these new and different business dynamics we are realizing how strong or weak our relationships really are. At the beginning of this business as usual interruption this blog made reference to the need to be reaching out proactively to your customers, clients, colleagues and reinforcing the integrity of your relationships. Yes, it was a time to spread common support but it was also a time to engage your consumers with authentic care for their well being.
It has proven to be true that those businesses with very strong client relationships have been weathering the economic changes far better than those organizations with weak or insignificant relationships with their customers. The same is true internally in your business. If you had weak relationships with your staff then during this time of adjustment the integrations were more stressful. There are some trends where staff is not returning to work for a variety of reasons. Some are economic in that subsidies are valued greater than pride of work. In other cases, employees were given a time of reflection on what they want to do with their lives and for whom they want to work with. This is causing many to seek out new or different employment opportunities.
If your relationship with your customers or your staff were weak to begin with it has impacted your financial opportunities. Just like your staff, your customers were also given a chance to rethink who they want to do business with going forward. If you and your business are hard to work with then a change may have taken place. On the other hand if your customer relationships were solid and growing then you may have actually incurred a revenue growth as your cleints shifted purchasing to a smaller vendor base.
This week, take some time to evaluate your relationships with your customers and your team. Is there work to be done to rekindle the relationships and make them more substantial? It is not too late to engage your clients and employees in productive conversations about the future and how all can benefit from a productive relationship.
Relationship building and positive communication MUST be a priority moving forward. Do you have solid practices to achieve both? If not, give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida to investigate how “Promise Culture” can be a solid foundation on which to build your future.