Building rapport remotely

There’s a reason no one prefers to have a long-distance relationship. The feeling of being in the same room as someone is much different than being separated by a phone or computer.

What does that mean for advisors working entirely or partially remote from their clients? For these MDRT members, the situation is an opportunity to develop new ways of generating connections that not only easily traverse the distance but lead to conversations and closeness that might not have existed without technology and the separation it covers.

Research and sharing

Three years ago, Sofia Dumansky, MBA, LUTCF, primarily worked only with clients in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Now, because of the opportunities that Zoom provides, she has licenses and clients in 12 states. Virtual conferencing enables her to meet with clients from anywhere and with their spouses while they’re at different jobs instead of coordinating all their schedules to meet in person. The 11-year MDRT member from Windsor, Connecticut, USA, delves into Facebook, LinkedIn and even a Google search to look up what the client has been doing recently. “I looked you up and noticed you went on a trip!” she might say. “You can see what’s happening in their lives, and they might even pull up photos for you,” Dumansky said. “I actually find meetings are more personal when talking on Zoom.”

Takeaway: Show your interest by doing research others don’t and follow up.

Message in an email

Maybe you’re so focused on how to relate to the client during the actual virtual meeting that you forgot something: Technology exists literally every second of every day, and there are plenty of opportunities to connect virtually outside of a defined meeting time. For Brad Brain, CFP, CLU, that means utilizing Loom, a video messaging service through which he records video updates for clients and creates the sensation of a direct meeting without actually having one. That could mean, for example, a personalized account update without any back and forth. “One of my best clients said, ‘Great update; I really like this Loom platform,’” recalled the 14-year MDRT member from Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada. “‘It’s a great way to communicate your message, and you’re killing it.’”

Takeaway: Not all remote connections have to happen in the same virtual space. Consider how you can create touchpoints outside the meeting. 

This was excerpted from the March/April 2023 Round the Table magazine article, “Building rapport remotely.” You can read more ideas from MDRT members in the article.

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