Strategy for Virtual Relationships with Family Offices

With the COVID-19 shelter-in-place mandate, most professionals were forced to rethink how to grow their businesses. Leveraging technology platforms, many have learned that growing their practice beyond their immediate geographic area is possible. History shows us that while markets are contracting, those that will survive and thrive make certain that their outreach and visibility are expanding.

Though nothing will completely replace the benefit of in-person connection, technology, and the recent global pandemic have changed “business as usual” forever. It is likely our business development efforts will become a blended approach; virtual engagement will remain prevalent and in-person meetings will be more intentional and even more valuable. It’s uncertain if or when meeting a stranger for an introductory chat over coffee or attending a large networking event or conference will be the norm again. Savvy professionals recognize that it is now more important than ever to understand how to effectively start a relationship virtually and what to do to nurture that relationship into a valuable and meaningful connection.

Be proactive: Reach out to well-suited contacts within the platform. Connect over LinkedIn which offers a transparent way for contacts to explore your background and experience on their own terms. Leverage the data over time as your marketing needs require. Don’t be afraid to try different approaches. Call or email directly to suggest scheduling time for a call over video to discuss how your opportunity will provide them value. Use tools like Calendly to put the ball in their court and make your intended goal, such as scheduling a meeting, as easy as possible. You can even try thinking outside of the box right now with a direct mailing. Think of ways to stand out and get noticed.

Narrow your audience: As you expand your reach, further define how you want to be known in the marketplace. Being known as a thought leader and the go-to person in a very specific area will make an effective business development strategy and marketing plan feasible in a large marketplace. Our platform allows users to apply filters narrowing the vast data to a targeted group.

Reassess your goals & come up with a process: With your focused niche in mind, write down what you want to accomplish in the next 30 days, three months, six months, and in one or two years. Planning amid uncertainty is possible when you can break down your approach into measurable tactics that you have direct control over. Make a goal to obtain two new Family Office clients in the next six months and write down the activities you need to accomplish to make that possible, i.e.,by September 30th 1) publish an article offering value and education to a virtual group containing your target audience; 2) schedule three meetings each week to ask individuals from within the platform for introductions; and 3) connect to 10 leads within the platform via LinkedIn and start looking for mutual connections or additional ways to start building trust. In your plan, describe the market opportunity for your niche and the value you can provide. Write down why you are the best person for that work; what have you worked on in the past that relates and why are you passionate about this market segment or matter.

Update your internet presence: Before you begin your outreach, you will want to make sure your internet presence reflects the professional you are and is in line with your business development intentions. After you’ve reexamined your goals and clarified your narrative around why you are the go-to person for this work, spend time on your LinkedIn and website bios to ensure they are conveying this message. Your bios should validate your credibility for your current niche focus and highlight how you currently help clients. Reduce or eliminate the experience in your bio that has no relevance to your future goals. 

Embrace video calls & prepare: While many people were uncomfortable and uninterested in video calls in a professional setting, the pandemic demanded we get comfortable with them quickly. Video is more impactful than a phone call for many reasons: 70% of communication is nonverbal — body language, facial cues, arm, and hand gestures, all help us to better understand one another. Eye contact plays an exceedingly important role in communication. This increased opportunity for understanding makes it possible to build trust, which is key to fostering a relationship with a Family Office. Multiple studies of the human brain assure us that people process visual information far faster and more capably than text or audio. Appearance can also help you stand out so pay attention to the way your space, lighting, and camera are all presented. Dress and groom as if you were going to meet this person at his or her office. No one wants to have an awkward first meeting, so be prepared to keep the conversation moving. Do your research. Learn as much as you can about the Family Office before your call. Google and social media are going to help you discover commonalities and meaningful things to discuss during your time together. Have a pitch based on offering value relevant to each individual Family Office prepared ahead of time. 

Be authentic: This pandemic has created a shared difficult experience that helped us relate to one another on a very human level. That human bond and interaction is key to building trust and fostering genuine and meaningful relationships. Family Offices have capital to deploy and many of them are looking for unique opportunities in which they can make an impact. Business as we know it had changed and might never go back to the way it once was. Foster this change and find ways to continue to bond at a human level with people you are connecting with from a distance. Try to be transparent and vulnerable to further relate to the Family Office you are working with. 

Now is the perfect time to take control of these changing times and become more intentional than ever about creating an efficient workflow that excites and inspires you. Take advantage of the endless hours over the past 19 years that our team has spent manually researching, networking, and building a powerful tool for you to conduct intentional outreach. Let our platform energize your marketing campaign.

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