darren-connectionSince we’re on the subject of human connections, let’s stay focused on that for a bit. The human connection has certainly been tested over the past nine months as the world has largely operated from a digital space.

A lack of face-to-face interactions can really take its toll on people, particularly those who live alone and individuals who don’t use social media. On the plus side, the digital environment allows us to be in multiple places at once. Use this to your advantage.

Focus on what I call “human-centered marketing.” This is where – you guessed it – we put people first. That’s a core value at APM, and for good reason. The human connection is the highest form of capital we have. It’s what makes us tick, allows us to feel fulfilled and heightens our emotions in a way technology simply can’t.

Here are a few ways you can foster the human connection between yourself and prospective clients. Who knows, you might even make a few new friends!

Work on bad behaviors.

We all have them. What’s yours? Being late, interrupting people, telling inappropriate jokes/stories, talking too much about yourself and, yes, always selling are major turnoffs. These bad behaviors can shut the other party down and, closing up with them is the opportunity to build a life-long relationship.

Be seen.

Text, email and social media are great tools for interacting, but you’re more than just a chatbot. Let your customers know that by being seen, not just heard. Offer to set up video appointments (though never spring this on someone), and put your best foot forward. That means smiling, using expressive gestures where appropriate and giving the client a sense of what’s important to you through strategically placed items in the background. And don’t be afraid to record personalized video messages. Your clients will be touched, I promise!

Find inspiration.

The best way to foster the human connection is to see what connects to this human…meaning YOU! What compels you to buy something (outside of pure necessity)? What did that marketing effort feel like? Mastering the human connection is all about creating a sensory experience, but it doesn’t stop there. It has to tug at the heart strings and elicit an emotional response. Observe how, where and why that happens in your own life, then strive to incorporate these strategies into your human-centered marketing efforts.

Create a presence.

You may not be getting together in your office anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean your clients can’t remain a part of your life. Catch-up calls, texts and emails are great, but there are also passive ways to foster the human connection. It’s called a social media connection! Your 2021 efforts should most certainly focus on creating and building your online presence. This not only includes disseminating useful advice and marketing your services, but uploading photos and videos of you and your team. Be sure to include personal tidbits here and there, which can give clients a more well-rounded picture of who you are as, well, a HUMAN!

Regional Vice President - Southwest

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