Humans are hardwired to connect. We want to feel like we belong. We want to feel like we’re understood, valued and appreciated. It doesn’t matter if you’re “hard as nails” or the eternally straight-faced big boss, we know that deep down, you crave all the warm fuzzies too.
Being the smart cookie that you are, you’re probably aware of this simple but important fact. However, in our increasingly digital world, this universal truth is often overlooked.
Today, technology trumps face-to-face interactions. We are all “too busy” to go and have a chin-wag with Darren from down the road.
We know what you’re thinking – “I’ve got a business to run!”. That’s why we’d love to help shed some light on how you can keep human connection front and center of your business, no matter how time-poor you are.
Human connection: what’s all the fuss about?
I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.Brené Brown
Social connection brings us joy. It brings us closer to thriving health and happiness.
The people of the Mediterranean absolutely LOVE a glass of red wine, a cigarette and a hunk of cheese but they’re also some of the longest-lived people in the world. Why? Because these cultures focus on connection.
In our success-driven culture, does social media really feel social? Perhaps all of this comparison and superficial connection is actually making us feel increasingly anxious and disconnected. In fact, many psychologists are now saying that we’re experiencing a loneliness epidemic.
Now, we know you’re the kind of business owner who doesn’t like the sound of THAT kind of world. So, let’s talk about how this issue relates to marketing and sales.
#backtotheoldschool meets modern marketing and sales
As technology permeates marketing and sales processes, many “traditional” tactics are being left by the wayside. Businesses are choosing to invest their dough in influencer marketing and marketing automation over trade shows and event sponsorships. New technology is helping businesses communicate more effectively and efficiently with their customers than ever before.
The sweet spot is in combining these two approaches – the old and the new. We believe in leveraging new technology tools without forgetting one of the bread-and-butter classics: human connection.
So, what does connection look like in current day sales?
Consumers today are highly educated and have access to all the information they want about your business and the rest of the market. The power truly is in their hands.
They approach things differently. By the time a potential customer has initiated a conversation with you, they’ve done the majority of their research. They’re 90% there. They don’t need (or want) the hard sell but equally, they don’t want to hear crickets when they try to get in touch.
Consumers want to co-create solutions to their problems. They want a sales experience that delivers interesting insight. At the core of it all, they want to be treated with kindness, respect and warmth. They want to be treated like a human being. This is what creates connection and connection is what drives sales success.
How can your business leverage this?
Always go the extra mile
Competing on customer service is always a good idea. People buy from people. They buy emotionally, not rationally.
People won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.Maya Angelou
Work on building trust by avoiding the temptation to take shortcuts in your customer experience. It might cost you in the short-term, but you will reap the benefits in the long-term when you foster high value, long-lasting customer relationships.
Make people feel special and important. Can your team tailor a solution just for them? Can you send them a quick and thoughtful message on their birthday? Can you pop over to their house bearing gifts on Christmas day? (Okay, maybe don’t try the last one but you get the point.)
Live by your values
Declare and share exactly what your company stands for to drive meaningful relationships with your ideal customers. Remember, the proof is in the pudding. We know you want to make a real impact in this world, but does your customer know what’s driving you?
If you operate in a particularly saturated market, then this is even more crucial. Real talk: your heart might be what sets you apart (hey, that rhymes).
Embed a belief system into your business that will attract the right kind of customers AND employees. This way, you’ll keep moving in the direction of your purpose and passion, even as the business scales.
Respond to customers ASAP
Humans are impatient beings. If they have a question whilst they’re perusing your website, they don’t want to wait until someone replies to an email or call. They want the answer now and they want to feel heard – preferably by another human!
We live in an instant gratification world. Don’t let slow responses be the reason that your potential customer chooses someone else. So, how do you make sure you can strike while the iron is hot? Live chat.
Live chat provides every potential customer with an instant, customized support service. No more impersonal FAQ pages and unanswered voicemails. This tactic enhances your customer service experience AND boosts your conversions. Now that’s what you call a win-win!
P.S. You don’t need to stop there. There are plenty of other techniques you can leverage to build personal connections. You could focus on creating relevant, timely content (like a friendly newsletter), having more face-to-face meetings (especially if you are the face of the brand) and building creative reward systems.
Still need convincing that these techniques are worth your time?
On a lifetime value basis, emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied customers.Harvard Business Review
So, get out there and do what we humans do best – connect!