By Ron Bernas
Most insurance professionals rely on in-person interactions to do their job, meeting with clients to present the right protection and retirement solutions. But what happens when the world suddenly changes and forces everyone to adapt and work in ways never imagined? What’s the correct formula to help clients and help yourself?
Whether we like it or not, “working from home,” a phrase heard countless times the past few weeks, is our new normal. It’s time to get on the bandwagon with a work-from-home routine and some new skills as well, because when the pandemic crisis has passed, some of these communication techniques will become baked into our culture. Here are five tips that can be applied to both professional and personal life while working remotely:
- Reinforce Relationships
Reach out to prospects, clients, coworkers, friends and family. A quick phone call or email to a client goes a long way in expressing care and availability to help if needed. Providing reassurance opens conversations that often lead to uncovering an unforeseen need. Staying connected with key business relationships is equally important. Be sure to leverage all capabilities those relationships have to offer. There’s a reason you work with them and they can help make working as seamless and efficient as possible.
Personally call or FaceTime a loved one. Even if it’s just to check in, a simple conversation is genuinely appreciated and definitely strengthens relationships with those we cherish most.
Find creativity. Social distancing has forced everyone to pivot. Explore alternative ways to conduct business. Technology provides numerous platforms to share knowledge, present and collaborate on new ideas, and stay connected.
Learn how to master video conferencing. There are numerous online tutorials available to help. Attend a relevant webinar to learn new ideas during these times. Consider creating a podcast or writing a blog to share with prospects and clients. Likewise, use technology to invite colleagues, friends and family to join a group video conference. Schedule them regularly, even if it’s just to see a familiar face and share a laugh.
During times of uncertainty, strive not to focus your energy on when life will resume to normal. Instead, use the time to expand your professional and personal skillsets. There are distractions everywhere, especially when working from home. However, there are opportunities to focus and build skills to help improve your capabilities. Take the time to turn a weakness into a strength, for example – work on PowerPoint skills to improve business presentations, spend time with Excel to focus on the financials and analytics of your business, master virtual meeting technology and host a meeting with colleagues and clients.
Personal skills need work too! In one ear, out the other? Nope! Spend time listening and communicating with family and friends. Stressed out? Find a new way to relax, be more patient, and enjoy the good in life.
Work and life present numerous challenges during these unprecedented times. Meetings, kids, deadlines, paying bills, sales goals, trying to find hand sanitizer, etc., etc. Worlds often seem to collide when home becomes the office and home is still home. Aim to stick to a work schedule that provides for productivity and satisfaction. Also, find time that allows for daily life activities – family, exercise, TV, reading, cleaning and cooking. Strive to find the right mix of work and life that provides a routine that maximizes time most effectively.
It’s really that simple! Smile alone, smile with others - just smile. On a call with a client, stay positive and smile. It sounds crazy, but people often can “feel” a smile through words and that goes a long way to lifting spirits. FaceTiming friends? Smile a lot - it’s contagious! Smile with family – it can change someone’s mood instantly. And that someone could be you!
Ron Bernas is digital content manager, marketing at Crump Life Insurance Services. Ron may be contacted at [email protected].
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