by Tracey Wik & Blythe Kazmierczak / March 26, 2020
This is the first in a series of video blogs on how to keep your business moving during this time of uncertainty. Tracey Wik and Blythe Kazmierczak provide you with tips on how to build virtual relationships.
Tracey Wik: Hi, Tracey Wik here from GrowthPlay with Blythe Kazmierczak. She’s a longtime collaborator of mine, but she’s on our advisory board. Hi, Blythe.
Blythe Kazmierczak: Hi.
Tracey Wik: So we’re here, we are committed that people stay focused, people stay calm, and continue to make good choices and take actions that are going to forward their business. So one of the things that we are talking about today is what happened. This happened for everybody this week, because I have gotten emails and I’ve also talked to a lot of people. Everyone’s meetings are pushing or canceling. So you could have this false sense that you’re being productive if you move your meeting, which I have done, from a Tuesday to a Friday, except, is it really productive? So what are some other things that you could be doing now that will forward your business and to keep things moving such that commerce doesn’t come to a screeching halt? So, Blythe, you had some good thoughts. What are you seeing?
Blythe Kazmierczak: Yeah, I started with rescheduling at the beginning of this week too, optimistic that we just needed a couple of days to get organized and then we’d be back in the saddle. And now I’m realizing that was very optimistic on my part. And I’m now thinking I need to start thinking of a follow-up schedule that gives people a week to two weeks to just not only reset their week but really process what’s going on with COVID in their personal lives and their work lives. And so essentially for two weeks, no one’s going to sign a deal or make a sales meeting or kind of make something priority that was project related. And so what is awesome about that is I have the gift of two weeks to do work that I’ve been meaning to get to but haven’t been able to. This podcast I wanted to listen to or writing a piece of content that I meant to or really thinking about something more long term that I just didn’t have time to get to. And reaching out to people and instead of scheduling a meeting just being related and listening to where they’re at.
Tracey Wik: Yes.
Blythe Kazmierczak: So there’s opportunity to call people and not need anything and just say, “I was just thinking about you. This is a tough week. How are you doing?”
Tracey Wik: Yes. So the thing about sales is that, I mean, I actually think maybe I’m being optimistic falsely, but I actually think I am still signing deals, because I have a couple of people where they’re hot off the press, I mean, they’re hiring because their business is mostly virtual, so I’m optimistic. But even if that was the case where people were still contemplating, I think the thing that’s really important is, in sales, relationship building always is happening. And I think that the opportunity now is for people to think different about relationship building. So one of the things is about the COVID communication itself, COVID-19. Let’s don’t get any more emails about COVID-19 updates, okay?
Blythe Kazmierczak: I’m up to date.
Tracey Wik: I’m up to date from my people in culture where we’re compliant. I’m following John Hopkins. So I think that’s really important to stay current, but what is that going to do for my business? So what you and I have been talking about is our way of talking to your point, touch base with your clients, find out how they’re doing, and then we can offer a lot of information about working virtually that they may not know because you and I have been doing it for a long time. And so how could we help them use Zoom differently? You have all kinds of tools with your client base that are virtual tools that are cutting edge that people could be using right now. And I think there’s a huge opportunity to relationship build to really help people problem solve around deployment of either their product or their service out to the market.
Blythe Kazmierczak: Yeah, I mean, if I think about the folks that we work with are in a sales or leadership role and in that role they’re looking for people that are going to help them forward their agenda. And right now, their agenda is figuring out how to convert their business virtual.
Tracey Wik: Yep.
Blythe Kazmierczak: Right? And so how do you provide help in that and the problem that’s on their desk? How do you support that problem? Because that’s what everybody’s got on their desk right now. And even if they were a virtual business before, I know my husband works in a professional services and he works from home, so you’d say, “Oh, we were virtual.” Well, there was a bunch of folks in his organization that were not virtual.
Tracey Wik: Yep.
Blythe Kazmierczak: And the change management of that population going through the process of figuring all this out has meant the entire organization is not as productive as normal.
Tracey Wik: You’re right.
Blythe Kazmierczak: And so there’s things. It still impacted his work life and habits and what he was expecting. And so the reality is there’s very few organizations that were 100% virtual, so everyone is dealing with this to some degree.
Tracey Wik: Absolutely, absolutely. And I just think that the more that you can stay calm, understand that there are tools out there. And there is a learning curve. I mean, even for me, I work virtually too but there’s just things I’m having to face now that I didn’t face two weeks ago. I think just be, again, good to yourself and just reach out because there are lots. Your point, everybody is dealing with this at the same time and it’s overwhelming. There’s just no two cents about it. I mean, it really is.
At GrowthPlay, we coach our clients to think of sales as an act of service. Instead of viewing sales through a narrow transactional lens—asking, “What can this person do for me?” For more tips on how to build virtual relationships read our blog, Why Generosity is Good for Business for tips on how to approach sales as an act of service.