The lost art of real talk in business

The lost art of real talk in business

Tech is at an all-time high and we’ve somehow lost real conversations along the way. Deep discussion between two people seems to happen less and less.

How is real talk relevant to your business? And what does it look like in today’s digital sphere?

In this post, we’ll uncover the relics of good old conversations, the art of being real, and how to communicate this authenticity with your customers. Let’s start digging! We’re sure real talk is still happening somewhere.

Digital conversations

Real talk isn’t lost – it’s now digital

Business is digital. Everything is automated. There’s a boom of A.I. and bot service. Surely, we’ve never been more connected (online). Yet living digitally can also make us feel somehow cut off or alienated (offline).

The ideal world is one where we can have dazzling conversations in person without any help from our gadgets. But we know it takes time to connect. We need time to build those connections.

The good news is that we can relearn the art of real talk with our customers. People want real human connections and they want to be heard. The customer is right again! If you listen to your customers, you’ll know what they want, and they’ll love you for it.

Better customer service means happier customers and higher profits, right? How do we do that?

Start on the inside – be your true self

There’s a sense of freedom in being true to yourself. Things gel naturally. You don’t have to sculpt your image to suit a façade you think the world needs. When you’re consistent, you can represent your business truly as it is.

Here are actionable tips on being true:

– Love what you do

– Express your purpose and share it with much gusto!

– Be consistent with who you are to avoid giving mixed messages

– Share original, high-quality content on multiple platforms

– Share your pro tips, opinions, and secrets related to topics your market cares about

– Only make promises you can keep

– Work with authentic people

– Acknowledge your mistakes and weaknesses

Your customers will see your honesty and trust that the purpose of your product or service extends beyond just making money. It’s a product of your authenticity, so it’s real!

Authentic business leader

Be an authentic leader

Now, a lot that goes inside a company is reflected to the customer.

Author Gabrielle Dolan explains in her book, Real Communication: How To Be You and Lead True, “a rapidly evolving workplace and disruptive technologies have created a growing demand for transparency and authenticity in communication from business leaders.”

When you’re true to your team, your business thrives. Genuine leadership creates good communication. You not only connect to your coworker, you connect to your clients and customers.

Team members at Buffer, don’t use private emails. Employees can read messages in the company’s fully transparent email system any time. This ensures trust inside the company.

You don’t have to do the same. However, this is just one example showing that when leaders are authentic, they inspire their team to achieve a common goal. Team members work better. They feel trusted. They understand and empathize with each other. As a result, they relay that message to the customer. That’s a win-win!

You can have genuine customer connections

The people have spoken. They prefer talking to a real human, and messaging is the communication channel of choice. Although customers need fast information, they also need thorough explanations. They prefer a real person’s motivated reasoning and emotional response to their problem.

Performing the art of real talk in business

You don’t have to ask about their deepest fears or life-long dreams. But a hint of human warmth  – and truth – will make them feel comfortable. It’s one way they learn to trust that you can empathize with their challenges and thus solve their concerns.

How to have genuine conversations with your customers:

– Do your homework and get to know your audience on a deeper level

Captivate them with a story

– Infuse conversation with humor that gets them smiling

– Ask how you can add value – help them help you!

– Respond as quickly as possible

– Tone down sharing how great you are

– Give them transaction transparency

Remember to always do your best to make a lasting impression with a good exit (inside jokes, something in common, problems solved, what to look forward to).

The takeaway

Whether you’re talking to a customer or catching up with a loved one, it’s good to talk. No matter what platform you use — on-screen or off-screen — authenticity is key.

Authentic expression takes on a digital form as we relearn how to make deep face-to-face connections. But the art of real talk can be found anywhere and performed anytime. Be yourself. Stay curious. Question more and give your full attention.

It’s a gift to talk true to yourself and the world, as a business owner and as a mere human being. But the best talks are had when we truly understand the people we’re talking to

The digital world can be noisy at times. Funny enough, the lost art of real talk is found when the need to talk is gone and we learn to listen. So be all ears and only talk true.

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