Not many people wave, but everyone waves back. As we return to normal, be the first to wave to your clients and important relationships to get your connections back on track.
When you reach out first, it shows your clients and key connections that you are courageous in your business relationship and care about them. In each conversation, ask the person about their pandemic experience and how it has shifted both their personal and professional outlook.
Be a trusted confidant as they share their unique story. Throughout the pandemic, some businesses thrived while many struggled. Regardless of their situation, many have had to reevaluate their business methods. Here are two unique dilemmas that could potentially come up in your conversations and perhaps offer a chance for you to share some helpful tips as they get back on track.
Prior to the pandemic, the average small business had 27 days of cash reserves (restaurants had 16 days). As small business owners re-emerge in their industries, they might focus first on their cash-on-hand strategy and try to save up for a 3-6 month cushion. This could be an opportunity to share your knowledge about saving through a short-term money market, guaranteed account or bond fund option.
During the quarantine, a lot changed around the office. From staffing changes to flexible work schedules to working from home, your clients may have experienced some big adjustments over the past year. How have they adjusted their viewpoints on employee benefits? This might present an opportunity to discuss stretching the match, vesting schedule, financial wellness resources, loans, emergency savings accounts and/or executive benefit options.
By asking questions that show interest in their success, it demonstrates you are just as committed as they are to reestablishing business success as the pandemic wanes; that will not go unnoticed. What is their outlook for the future? How are they positioning their business for future success? What are their three-year goals?
These real questions will make the business owner pause - wait - because they will answer. Then let them respond in full. While these questions are highly personal, so is their business. They will appreciate the opportunity for an honest and candid conversation.
While business owners breathe their business 100% of the time, rarely do the people around them ask deep questions about it. When given the opportunity to pause, reflect and reply, they might jump at the chance to open up to you with their fears, hopes, dreams and goals. This sacred knowledge demonstrates how much they trust you.
Being the first to wave takes courage, which we know you have. These open-ended questions can bring depth to your important conversations. Together, you are more than their retirement plan advisor, but a dependable partner that represents connection and loyalty to their business success.
Start today and be the first to wave.