Client development during a crisis

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Worried. Concerned. Fearful. These are the feelings your clients may have right now. Notice how they are not accounting problems? They are emotions. One unique aspect of the trusted advisor relationship is that while they must believe you are competent, they must also believe you care. And now is the time you show you care.

It’s not about presenting solutions. After all, what possible solutions could you have to the COVID-19 pandemic? It’s about saying you are there for the client. It’s about listening. It’s about offering to be a resource. It’s what a trusted advisor does day in and day out.

Our clients are worried about very similar things that you are. They are worried about loved ones who are in a high-risk category. They are worried about family and friends with limited resources. They are worried about job losses. They are worried about having to shutter their business. They are worried about how to balance working remotely with child-care at home. You get it. We are all living it. Take some action now and be there for your top clients.

Here are eight virtual ways to be there for your clients:

  1. Call, email or text: "I was thinking about you today — how are you holding up?”
  2. Virtual lunch date with a client: Sit at your respective desks and talk on video while you eat your lunches.
  3. Have lunch delivered to them.
  4. Send an e-card (remember these?).
  5. Buy goods and services from their business.
  6. Introduce them to another client in a similar industry sector (perhaps they can be a resource to each other).
  7. Invite them to an upcoming webinar.
  8. Send them an article on preserving cash flow in crisis (or any related topic).

None of these activities are particularly hard to execute, expensive, or time-consuming. However, they do take thought, and that is what generates goodwill. The goodwill you will generate from these actions will pay dividends for years. The trusted advisor can be counted on to act with empathy and in a selfless manner when indicated. Now is the time to be there for your clients — so make sure they know you are.

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