Joe Brunello | Director of Training & Development, Leap Systems
For the first few weeks of the COVID-19 public health crisis, most of us had to embrace a “take this day-by-day” mindset as things were seemingly changing by the hour. Now, six months later, we have adapted and as a result, have adopted many new best practices to continue to meet our goals. From Zoom, GoToMeeting and Teams to Calendly, Basecamp and Slack, there are countless apps to help you connect and stay organized. If you’re using only a few or a combination of many apps, time management and organization are vital for success.
Prior to COVID in the financial world, business was predominantly conducted in a face-to-face interaction. It wasn’t that long ago that you were hosting seminars and live events as a way of marketing yourself for potential clients, gathering 20-30 people with a specific topic in mind. The goal was to educate, make new connections and gather a prospect list based on the feedback received from the events.
Fast forward to today, we’ve transformed into a virtual environment. Live interactions are limited yet the goals are the same. Achieving the goals are much different. The need to be more intentional and precise with topics covered is essential. Maximizing your social media presence as another form of marketing and prospecting, requesting registration for calls to plan ahead for your audience, and adding polling during the calls to ensure the audience stays engaged, are just a few ways to leverage the virtual environment.
For many, it is a genuine struggle to recreate the same feel of a face-to-face interaction in this virtual world. My advice, be creative! If you would typically meet your client for dinner, perhaps send dinner to the clients’ home and have a virtual dinner meeting. Listen to your clients and team members to help guide you on the best ways to connect and be willing to make changes often. The virtual world offers so much more autonomy if you allow it.
There were already quite a few financial professionals that had been moving their practice to include virtual meetings prior to COVID-19. They were finding they could run more appointments without the need to travel. This reduces cost, allows for a much more flexible schedule, and most importantly, some clients preferred it! We know eventually we’ll get to a point where we will be able to see our clients again live and in person, hopefully without restrictions.
However, that does not necessarily mean it will be “business as usual”, and that’s ok! As long as you’re willing to adapt your way of doing business.
At the end of the day, embrace and find the opportunities that our current environment has presented to us. You might need to restructure or re-evaluate the way you are conducting your business.