HOW TO RECONNECT AFTER THE LAST YEAR WE’VE HAD

darren-relationshipWith busy lives, it’s hard to stay connected under the best of circumstances. Throw in a pandemic, and it can feel downright impossible. Between social distancing, local restrictions, work-from-home policies and having your entire family under one roof, it seems like you barely have time to breathe let alone rekindle a relationship after a few months or longer have passed.

Reconnecting may feel difficult to do, but it really isn’t. You just have to pull the trigger. That starts with getting over any fear or embarrassment you may have. We’ve all been dealing with some pretty heavy stuff over the past year, so trust me, no one will hold a grudge for falling out of touch. It’s what you to do salvage that relationship that matters.

Send that Note

Yup, it really is that simple. Been meaning to email an old client just to check in? Go ahead and do it already. It’s not that these activities are hard, it’s just that we’re brilliant at coming up with a million and one reasons why this can wait until later. Except later never comes.

So plug some time into your schedule – say, Tuesdays at 11 a.m. – and catch up with your connections. No need to apologize. No need to lament the passage of time. Just reach out, let them know you’re thinking about them, ask them how they are and see if there is any way you can be of service at this point in their lives.

Personalize Your Correspondence

This is why it’s so valuable to keep detailed notes in your CRM. You know what’s worse than never reconnecting with that client? Sending a generic email to all your contacts that lets them know you couldn’t even be bothered to recall why this relationship was meaningful in the first place.

Don’t be that person. Instead, review your notes and, if necessary, do a little Google and social media recon. Ask about specific family members, inquire if they still love their neighborhood or if they ever got around to that remodel they mentioned. Reference a hobby or local sports team – really anything where you had common ground.

Demonstrate Your Value

If your connection is responsive, offer to schedule a phone or video catch up. Remember, you’re not pitching or selling here. You’re legitimately catching up with this client. Save the elevator pitches for, well, whenever we’re back in elevators. Instead, listen intently to where they’re at in their lives…and be ready to offer solutions that can make those lives even better.

Have they been in the house long enough that a refinance would be a viable option? Broach the subject. Have they just had a new baby or adopted a puppy? See if that house is still meeting their spatial needs, especially during a pandemic. Are they thinking about moving but feel that the market is just too competitive right now? Regale them with the benefits of a pre-approval.

Everyone likes to hear “how are you?” or “I’m thinking about you” every now and then. The key to making these rekindling sessions work is to make sure you mean it. Those communications mean nothing if there’s a “catch” or an “ask” attached to the back end. So sit back, reacquaint yourself with your CRM and then start to rebuild your connections organically, one by one, without any other agenda in sight.

Regional Vice President - Southwest

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