How to Build Authentic Connections with Potential Customers

How to Build Authentic Connections with Potential Customers with Tara Gentile on CreativeLive

Business is connection.

Yet, we all have different strengths when it comes to connecting with people. The good news is that there have never been more ways to connect with people. Instead of forcing yourself into traditional models, you can find a way to forge authentic connection in a style that works best for you.

As an introvert, my worst nightmare is standing in a room with a bunch of strangers, a name tag on my chest, glass of wine in one hand and plate of snacks in another.

Traditional meeting-and-greeting is difficult for me. But, I shine on stage or when writing to nearly 15,000 readers every week. That’s the start of how I create my authentic connection.

How will you create your authentic connection?

Here are 3 things to consider when figuring out how you’ll forge meaningful connections in your business.

1. When does meeting new people feel most natural to you and why?

I love to meet people after I’ve given a talk. The talk’s topic gives context to these interactions and helps me manage what’s expected of me. Meeting people this way is easy.

One of my former clients, Shelly Waldman of Walman Photography, prefers to meet people at mixers and community arts events. Tiffany Whipps, a jeweler in Oakland, loves to invite people into her studio and work with her on the jeweler’s bench.

Building Meaningful Relationships with Your Potential Customers with Tara Gentile on CreativeLive

Look to times in your life when meeting someone new has felt effortless. Then try to replicate the conditions of those meetings (and the kind of people you were meeting, too) in your business. If in-person works well for you, you might host a local workshop. If email feels natural, ask for an email introduction to someone you’d like to meet.

Pick a technique that works for you and then work it. Your interaction will feel more natural and authentic–and you’ll reap the rewards of that easily.

2. What really bugs you?

Passion often triggers connection. I find my own clients have the most success in connecting when they’re talking about something that really fires them up.

What do you see happening the world that makes your blood boil? What’s a mistake that your prospective customers make that really bugs you? What’s an assumption holding people back that irks you to no end?

Try writing a blog post or posting on Facebook about one of these topics and let it all hang out. You’ll be surprised how quickly people respond.

3. What do your customers really want to accomplish?

An authentic connection is most important during a sales conversation.

Often, sales conversations go off the rails when the seller is focused on the product (or service) and why it’s awesome. That’s no way to create an authentic connection.

Customers buy products to help them accomplish something, whether it’s feeling better in the moment or achieving a big life goal. When you pinpoint what people want to accomplish and use that to talk about what you do or what you have to offer for sale, it’s much easier to connect with someone.

Think about what goals your customers have and connect with them on those terms.

Truly authentic connection happens when you think about what works best for you and what the person you’re trying to connect with needs most. It doesn’t have to look the way it’s “supposed” to look. Play to your strengths, dip into your passion, and focus on the other person. You’ll be on your way to more authentic connection in no time.

Want more tips on building your business? Join me in my class, Goal-Setting & Planning to Grow Your Standout Business right here on CreativeLive.

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Tara Gentile is a creativeLIVE instructor, business strategist, and the creator of the Customer Perspective Process.