Every interaction you have with potential or existing clients is an opportunity to market your business. So, do you think they would want to deal with a cold bloodsucker or a real human being?
In a world where we are all besieged with advertisements and sales pitches, marketing your business is no longer about getting as many eyes as possible on your ads, it is about using your qualification as a human being to speak directly to clients, to build relationships, and give them the means to identify with you and your business.
Trying to suck the money out of clients with out-of-date marketing concepts that appeal to no one in particular is a loser’s game. But showing your human side by building relationships, whether as an individual or as the representative of a business, will get people on your side.
When it comes to fulfilling business or personal needs, consumers have a world of choice. And too much choice become baffling. The only thing they have to rely on is their contacts, and they’re going to trust the ones who take the time and energy to help them make the right decision. Building authentic relationships with people is what fosters trust in you and loyalty to your brand. It is trust that drives people to purchase from you.
Doing it the right way ultimately comes down to showing your human side, and appealing to theirs. Talking directly to people about their needs, writing blog posts that speak to people and gets to the heart of their problem, creating ad and email campaigns that clients can relate to – this is all relationship building.
To err is human
Of course, being human, you WILL make mistakes. Mistakes are a natural part of life. The important thing is to demonstrate that you can rectify those mistakes because in doing so you will not only demonstrate your conscientious-ness, but also your ability to deal with problems effectively.
To deny problems exist by sweeping them under the carpet or respond ineffectually, shows clients that you have the problem-solving abilities and emotional intelligence of a frog – this is not conducive to good business relationships.
Your customers will know when you’re being up front or when you’re stretching the truth. Give them a hint that you’re not being honest and you’ll lose them. Instead, admit to your mistake, explaining how you’ll handle it and what steps are being taken to prevent the same from occurring in the future, and they’ll appreciate and admire you more for it.
Expecting faultlessness from yourself or your employees is not realistic. There is a fine line between striving for excellence and unhelpful perfectionism, which does nothing but lead to an unhealthy workplace. It can impact on the mental and physical health of you and your employees, which filters out to the clients. A healthy level of quality control, as opposed to control freakery, creates beneficial relationships between employees and clients. In fact, research shows that the more human and connected a workplace feels, the healthier and more productive people are.
Show you care
For some reason being ‘professional’ seems to be synonymous with a lack of emotion. But pretending we are not human does not make us better at business, and sterile interactions are not the way to come across as a human being. You can be professional AND reveal your true personality, the human in you, even within a larger business, as long as you’re adhering to its core brand identity.
These days, being busy and stressed is often worn as a badge of honour. And for some people, to be seen as the type of person who considers work to be the centre of their universe is the ideal. It is almost as though their endeavours at work have to displace their human relationships or be cold and detached from the realities of being human, in order to be good at their job – this isn’t true – Being ourselves and bringing all of the aspects of our lives to complement our work is what makes us truly human, and come across as such. So, feel free to go surfing at the weekend and tell your newest client all about it.
No matter what business you’re in, the human element is vital. To deny your humanity by failing to build healthy working relationships, or being cold and detached with no warmth and personality coming across in your interactions, creates an unfavourable impression and suggests that there is something about your business that is not quite as it should be. In which case, you may as well have fangs, and blood dripping down your chin, because customers will run a mile.
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