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COVID-19 era highlights value of personal business interactions

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Just a few years ago, Los Angeles native, Nathan Dulley, was running one of the top performing food importing and distribution companies in the country. In only a short period of time, Dulley had successfully grown his enterprise into a leading player in the highly competitive space by predominantly using old school networking.

Despite pressure to scale his sales team so that he could focus less on customer-facing tasks, Dulley refused to treat his clients merely like business relationships. That’s because he has always possessed an undying belief that a strong Rolodex is built by cultivating meaningful human relationships that transcend business.

The present COVID-19 era is making it abundantly clear that Dulley’s thinking has been right on the money.

Empirical data about client attrition has been extensively compiled during the COVID-19 crisis, and the data show that, for the most part, businesses whose proprietors have a practice of striking ultra-personal relationships with clients are faring far better than businesses that are driven by replaceable sales teams. While these findings may not seem surprising, what is surprising is how many businesses leave client acquisition and retention to impersonal sales teams.

Dulley says that business owners, big and small, must quickly adapt to a more personalized way of doing business if they want to truly survive during this pandemic. “During a time like this, with so much intrinsic uncertainty, nobody wants to stick with a business that is represented by an easily replaceable figure,” Dulley said.

Countless businesses have gone, or are soon to be, defunct as a result of COVID-19. While analysts from multiple firms have attributed much of these demises to unavoidable revenue impacts, there are nonetheless very many businesses that have failed due to client attrition that could have been prevented by more involved owners. Dulley’s vision is to educate more business owners on the catastrophic risks of being too passive in their customer relations.


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COVID-19Nathan Dulley
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