Keri Ebeck, Esq.
Partner at Bernstein-Burkley, P.C.
COVID-19 has obviously affected everything and everyone, including how we work and communicate with one another. While many of us are continuing to work from home or practice physical distancing guidelines, this makes it more challenging to network and stay in touch with clients and prospective clients. Here are a few things we can do to go the extra mile for clients and colleagues when we can’t go but a few feet from our computers.
Make the time to call. Maybe even schedule a weekly call.
And while it’s important to address the business you want to address, make sure you check in with the person you’re calling, with a simple “How are you doing?”
Zooms can be exhausting, so limit their use.
Studies have been conducted that Zoom calls can be mentally exhausting because you have to make more of an emotional effort to make yourself look interested in the conversation and there’s an intense focus on eye contact and attention on you. Even the fact that you have to look at yourself can be tasking.
Because of this, while Zoom calls and FaceTime are great ways to stay in contact, ask for people’s preference, especially if you know a call might go longer than 10 minutes.
It’s okay to be casual.
You might be calling a client while wearing something less than a suit or business attire, and while it may feel unprofessional, everyone is in a similar boat right now. Many of us are working from home and adjusting to new norms. However, the care and attention to making the call and checking in will be what the client or contact remembers, not what you’re wearing (especially if they can’t see you on the other end).
Separate work life from social life – for yourself and others.
Because there’s not a lot to do right now, or places to go, you may have an inkling to call a client or contact after work hours. Obviously, there’s a strong chance they’re not out to dinner, taking kids to dance class, or attending a sporting event. However, working from home, or having a schedule that’s less than normal during COVID times, means it’s more important to separate work life from social life. Otherwise, when you’re stuck at home, it may feel like all you do is work.