Life as a team or business leader looks vastly different now than it did last year. With the continual challenges disrupting traditional ways of doing business, leaders need the right blend of soft and hard skills to succeed. Have you helped your team learn to adapt their skills to meet the moment? There has never been a better time than now to refine some important skills.
This skill will take your team far today and in the future. Help them to see things from the customer’s or client’s perspective. It is important to be sensitive to each person’s unique situation. Instead of ending a meeting with an ask, consider closing with an open-ended question. You may want to ask something like, “How is your business adjusting?” or “How has it been working from home for you and your team?” By sharing a little of your experience, you can help build a relationship. Find a challenge you and your customer or client are having because of working from home (for example homeschooling your child). Take the opportunity to look for ways to be authentic and empathize to help authentically connect with the other person.
How often do you and your team look at important data, such as industry trends, new technology and geospatial data? It is not important that you know how to manipulate the data, but you should be fluent in reading it. For example, if you see a specific sector that you believe your business can help, you should lean into learning about the customers and clients in these sectors as well as what the current solutions being offered are. What can you do to differentiate yourself?
Being able to build knowledge about and relationships with your current and prospective clients and customers. Team members in high-performing organizations are more than twice as likely to monitor customer purchase history, wants and needs. This makes you more responsive and able to serve your customers and clients better than your competition.
The ability to communicate virtually
In a time when most team and client meetings occur over the phone or via a video call, your team members should work on developing their virtual presence. It is vital that you make sure their computer is set up to run video calls, ensure they have a proper internet connection and test the picture to make sure it is not blurry. You may want to investigate getting your team members an external mic or webcam, if necessary. Train your team members to keep a light source in front of their faces and to keep their cameras positioned at eye level. Also, be sure to be considerate of your clients’ needs, always ask if they prefer a video call or phone call.
The ability to build relationships
Customer and client satisfaction are all about relationships, even though you may not see them face to face. Therefore, being able to build relationships, with ever-changing conditions, is one of the most critical business skills today. Look for ways to connect with your clients. It could be hosting a webinar or inviting them to a live-streamed class.
While serving and solving problems for clients during times of crisis presents many challenges, the basic objective of meeting clients’ needs and solving customers’ problems remains unchanged. By training your team members to step up with the skills above, you can demonstrate that they are trusted advisors and build meaningful relationships with your clients, even in a difficult market.