When I am on the walk, I will often bump into people I have not seen for a while – not literally, all from a sociably acceptable distance – and when I do, the same questions seem to arise.
“Are you working from home, or are you furloughed?”.
First, it’s quite amazing how many new words and phrases have emerged from this period. Furlough is certainly a new one on me, as is social distancing.
I also read a recent article which highlighted the terms ‘covidiot’ and ‘covexit’ both of which seem pretty self-explanatory.
Add to these even more obscure ones such as ‘blursday’ (an unspecified day because of lockdown’s disorientating effect on time) and “zoombombing” (hijacking a Zoom videocall), and there is enough to be keeping the new additions committee of the Oxford English dictionary busy for a while.
Second, having been asked those questions a lot, it got me thinking.
The world has changed so dramatically, and with such speed, that I don’t know what kind of impact this has had on all of my friends and acquaintances.
Keeping in touch
So, I thought I would pose a question of my own – how much do intermediaries know about the current working situation of their clients?
The pace at which government decisions have, and are, being made around lockdown, policy, payment holidays and income support have impacted huge numbers of people in some form.
Circumstances are changing with the blink of an eye as a variety of businesses across all sectors are searching for ways to cut costs and continue operating within the confines of the current landscape.
This uncertainty will result in additional pressure on many financial situations and hearing from an expert in financial matters who can help guide them through this turbulent period could well prove to be a godsend for those affected. The key message is to stay tuned-in and stay connected.
When I say stay tuned-in, I mean the importance of getting a real grasp of what impact the crisis has had, or is likely to have, on your colleagues and clients.
Knowing what is happening today could have a big impact on future conversations. So, stay tuned-in and find out how client needs have changed, and how you can better support them.
You can do this by staying connected. See what people are saying on LinkedIn or drop them an email, a text or a call.
It is amazing how grateful people are when someone they know gets in touch. Not to sell something, but just a simple “hello and how are you”. And don’t limit this simple task to just clients.
Understand each other
In a reverse approach, why not reach out and stay connected with your lender BDMs.
People are repeatedly saying ‘we are all in this together’ so two-way communication is especially important in facilitating this.
The role of the BDM is also having to change.
Regular face-to-face meetings are still not feasible and won’t be for some time.
Technology has highlighted that hours spent in cars travelling to meetings are not necessarily the right way to go – all the time at least.
We all need to find ways to better engage and interact in a more effective and collective manner. A little empathy will also go a long way during what will inevitably be a transitional lending period.
So, let’s all make that bit more of an effort to understand individual circumstances and the best way to do this is stay tuned-in and stay connected.