Relationship building during the pandemic

We are living in some very uncertain times; things are literally changing from minute to minute in our world due to the coronavirus pandemic. It can often feel as though you are not sure which way is up and which way is down. As a professional relationship builder, I have experienced this feeling nearly every single day in recent months.

Before the COVID-19 uncertainty began, the way we interacted with our partners was the way we always had; face-to-face meetings to include annual partnership reviews, product presentations, and business dinners. On March 13, 2020, the way I was able to visit with my partners changed, and I will never forget it. It was a Friday, and of course, we all know the myths surrounding Friday the 13th: don’t walk under a ladder, stay away from black cats, etc., am I right? That should have been a sign for me that something was coming because it was shortly after when our state shut down and government officials released the Stay Home, Work Safe order. Little did I know that would be my last day in my physical office, and would have a drastic impact on how I interacted with my business partners going forward. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared of the new normal, but I couldn’t think about that. I needed to figure out how I could help.

Focused on Helping

Our financial institution business partners had to begin focusing 100% on how they were responding to the pandemic, including moving employees to home offices and learning how to take care of their account holders with closed lobbies and branches. Their plates were full, to say the least. So the question I had as a trusted business partner was, what could I do to help? How could I let them know they could count on me even if they did not know what that might mean at the moment?

 

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