Insider Intelligence: New Ways to Connect with Customers

June 8, 2020
How to keep sales personal in the age of COVID-19

This article originally appeared in the June 2020 issue of Security Business magazine. When sharing, don’t forget to mention @SecBusinessMag on Twitter and Security Business magazine on LinkedIn.

Business is about relationships – there is simply no better way to become a trusted advisor or provider than by first building a healthy and strong business relationship. People buy from those they trust and respect.

When you take the time to call a customer, vendor partner or even a prospect you have been working with just to ask them how they are and if you can help with anything, it shows that you care. It shows that you are concerned about more than just their spending.

If you build a strong relationship with your customers, it is not necessary to always meet with them in person. For many years, if we could not meet face to face with our customers, we would call them on the phone. I still feel the phone is one of the best ways to communicate, or as I say, “pick up the phone and have a conversation!”

These calls usually lead to conversations about business and are much more personal than an e-mail. If you can add video to your call – it makes that connection even more effective.

When COVID-19 halted business travel and on-site customer visits, many people and businesses started using Microsoft Teams and Zoom – so many in fact, that Zoom has added more users in 2020 than they did in the entirety of 2019. What a great way to keep relationships alive! You can have a face-to-face conversation, and it is the next-best thing to being there in person.

Here are a few simple rules that should be followed when conducting video calls (or any business calls for that matter):

  • Arrange a mutually agreed upon date and time for the call: Yes, this may sound obvious but many salespeople cold call someone without asking if that person has time to talk. Be respectful of the time constraints of the person you are calling.
  • Develop and send an agenda for the call: State the goals you hope to accomplish as well as what you information you want to be reviewed before the call.
  • Tell the person you are setting up the call as a video call: Some people do not like to be surprised with a video call. They do not like to see themselves on their computer monitor. Do not make it mandatory for your customers to be on video;however, you need to let them know the option is there for a more personal experience.

During these calls, you can review numbers, explain programs – just as you would in your onsite meetings. You can demonstrate products and share screens with customers, so everyone can see what is being discussed. The only thing missing from these meetings is the actual handshake to close a deal that we became accustomed to in the pre-COVID-19 days.

Something else that we are all doing lately are virtual happy hours. How fun is this? Also, have you thought about having lunch meetings with your customers via Zoom or Teams? Order in food via Uber Eats and arrange a call. Everyone can still enjoy lunch meetings even if they are virtual.

Whatever you choose to do, continue finding new ways to connect with your customers. Work with your marketing department to strategize ways to connect with customers that is not just about selling. Think about how you can be a resource right now as well as what adjustments need to be made to marketing and sales priorities based on what your customers are experiencing.

Now is the time to build on relationships and bring value in other ways so that when business is strong again, you are top of mind for the next big project. Just be creative, stay organized, be empathetic and do not forget to smile. Soon, we will all be back to our new normal life.

Diana Hanna is National Sales Director – Business Development and Strategic Accounts for PSA Security Network. Request more info about PSA at

About the Author

Diana Hanna | vice president of Sales

Diana Hanna is National Sales Director – Business Development and Strategic Accounts for PSA Security Network. Request more info about PSA at