Social capital in a crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to focus on each other and how we can be of service
Focusing on the boundless opportunities of the present can inspire us to act now. (Photo: Bignai, Dreamstime.com)

Facing an uncertain time, many will be tempted to shrink back and stop investing in their personal and professional relationships. As the industry recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps now more than ever is the time to take stock of the challenges and needs of those around us. Everything as we knew it has been shaken, and a new reality has overtaken us—globally. I believe that for those who can see it, this is a time full of opportunity to build social capital.

Focusing on the many unknowns of the future can be paralyzing, but focusing on the boundless opportunities of the present can inspire us to act. By offering help and support to your customers, industry and community, you and your brand are perceived as a resource and a solution. This builds goodwill, and increases your impact and influence in your market.

[Related: Build better by building trust]

Here’s how to do it: Start listening to what those around you are saying. Be curious and ask questions to find out what your customers and industry partners are experiencing, and how their experiences are making them feel. Inquire about their needs—not only professionally, but personally—and take this time to connect with them in a real, genuine way.

As you discover the needs of those around you, you have an opportunity to be creative. Begin brainstorming relevant ways to address the immediate needs and challenges you are hearing about. How can you or someone you know come together to solve those challenges? For example, if you hear that your customers are having a hard time pulling together safety and reporting documentation needed for their construction sites, you can support them by gathering all of the necessary documentation in one place, digitally and physically, and delivering it to them. Often these simple, inexpensive and immediate actions, partnered with a desire to add value and build trust, will result in deeper relationships and an increase in your social capital.

The A.B.C. (Always Be Closing) sales method has its time and place, but in our current environment, genuine care for those around us, resilient determination to have a positive impact, and confidence that relationships drive revenue are where I put my bets. For the next 90 days, I encourage you to listen to what those around you are saying, grow curious about their experiences and get creative in becoming a resource and solution for them.

[Related: Provide value, nurture relationships by hosting CE events]

2 thoughts on “Social capital in a crisis

  • June 20, 2020 at 7:26 am
    Permalink

    Excellent thoughts! Use open-end interrogative words beginning with:
    Who
    Where
    Why
    When
    What
    How
    The answer to any of these questions will lead to more interesting information for you as you receive the communication from the party to whom you asked the question. That party will impart information that will help you better understand her/him while you are showing interest in her/him.
    The more you ask open-ended questions, demonstrate an interest in that party, take notes, the more the party will show an interest in you.
    ONwards and UPwards with questions and social capital!

    Reply
  • June 22, 2020 at 4:12 pm
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    You are so right, Robert! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for reading this article. You are a wealth of knowledge and experience. ONwards and UPwards with SOCIAL CAPITAL!

    Reply

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