For the first time in our lifetime, we are being forced to spend a prolonged time apart, our normal business routines have been suspended and we are no longer able to enjoy networking with our contacts face to face, but that doesn’t mean we must suspend interaction with our contacts, far from it.
We would argue that in this time of social distancing, connecting with each other has never been more important. As one of the most connected recruitment firms in the wealth management industry, we are continuing to network with our clients, candidates, colleagues and the wider industry in a variety of ways and are using our convening power to bring people together during this time.
We have noticed an increase in people reaching out to us from across the globe since the pandemic started, we are now working with new clients in the US that we had not connected with prior to the lockdown and it seems that despite physically closing borders and confining people to their homes, the Coronavirus has actually had a positive impact on relationships spanning continents and has helped to make the world feel smaller somehow, in our common battle against the virus.
Together while apart
Connecting with people is crucial for mental wellbeing and never more so than during the current lockdown. With much of the world practising social distancing measures at the time of writing, we are increasingly turning to technology to fill the void of personal interaction and we believe that there are some important lessons that can be taken from this time to improve our connections in the future.
Networking in the wealth management sector has traditionally been a face-to-face affair conducted at industry events, in boardrooms and in the restaurants and clubs in the financial districts of our major cities, but Covid is teaching us that networking can happen at any time, anywhere, if we utilise the technology available to us. Our annual Gulls Egg Luncheon in May has been postponed until next year but at the moment the Grouse and Grape event in October is still scheduled to run which will hopefully provide a fantastic opportunity to catch up in person with the contacts that you have made and maintained during the lockdown.
In the meantime and in the absence of genuine human interaction, social networking sites such as LinkedIn have become invaluable for making connections with potential clients, service providers and the media, we have seen a significant increase in profile views, messages and interactions on our own posts, and have heard similar success stories from across the wealth management industry. LinkedIn is providing a platform for human interaction on a scale that has never been seen before within our industry, from the Front Office to the C-Suite and across every sector, people are forging real and valuable relationships through LinkedIn that are likely to last long after lockdown is lifted.
An alternative ‘meeting’
Video conferencing platforms like Zoom, MS Teams and Skype are also providing much needed face-to-face contact from afar and should not be underestimated as a tool for bringing teams together during this time of separation. We are all at risk of loneliness, particularly those that are self isolating alone at home, but a regular catch up with colleagues, friends and business connections can have a hugely positive impact on your mental wellbeing.
Video conferencing shouldn’t be reserved only for existing contacts, it can be an equally beneficial tool for networking with new and potential clients and other connections that you have made during this unprecedented time. Don’t wait for lockdown to be lifted to meet, connect over a video call instead for the same benefits, minus the handshake or elbow bump, you will be surprised at how much you can accomplish from the comfort of your home office.
We have been busy interviewing potential candidates via video call and have been discussing new exciting roles with both existing clients and a number of Family Offices who have reached out and engaged us on specific mandates over recent weeks. The entire process has been completed remotely via phone, email and video call and many of the clients are international so we are utilising the technology available to us to expand our business globally during this time.
The future of networking?
The question we keep asking ourselves is whether Covid will change the way businesses operate forever, and the impact that will have on networking in the future. One thing is for certain, we are all currently proving the theory that we can work from anywhere and still deliver business as usual within the wealth management industry, so it is possible that we will all continue to work remotely when this is over and will no longer be slaves to the office or the gruelling commute.
Whatever happens, we will need to remember the value of relationships and the connections that we made during this time in lockdown and continue to work hard at networking, utilising all of the resources available to us even when we are able to see our contacts face-to-face again.