You probably know all the traditional ways to make your company shine and create a wonderful impression for your prospects. You can craft a standout image that’s reflected in everything you do. You can host elegant meetings, hire a brilliant copywriter to create your brochure content, and design an impressive website to showcase your services.
These are all wonderful elements to use in your business, but there’s one component that always seals the deal – showing your humanity.
Unfortunately, over the years we’ve lost our trust in businesses because leaders have been trained to hide their humanity. CEOs and company presidents hide their vulnerabilities and project an image that they’re in total control. That image might look good, but it’s not real, and it doesn’t create trust.
Here are 3 ways your business can show more of your humanity to build a foundation of trust:
1. Meet social needs of connection
People need to feel connected in their business and personal relationships. Showing emotion is part of that equation for connection. People have become used to engaging with businesses who just want to make the sale, so the more you can emotionally connect with your customers, the better.
When you engage with a prospect, customer, or client, don’t just go through the motions and ask how they’re doing. Really mean every word you speak. Be present and take in what they’re saying like they’re an old friend. Allow yourself to experience being with the person instead of seeing them as a means to an end.
2. Be authentic and not deceptive
While major corporations and retailers like Volkswagen and Tesco face public outrage from being caught in deception and fraud, trust in these corporations continues to drop. A company that chooses to deceive its consumers won’t easily regain trust once it’s been lost.
If you’re not passionately in love with what you’re doing, you’re going to struggle with being authentic. People who are madly in love with their business are really in love with their cause or purpose beyond making money. If you’re not passionate about your business, you may want to consider pursuing something else.
3. Make your customers smile
You can’t make your customers smile unless you’re being real with them. That doesn’t mean you should ditch your sales scripts and other standard protocols for customer interaction, but there are ways you can add your personality into the relationship at all levels of interaction.
Creating smiles from your website
It might seem difficult to show your humanity on a website since there’s no personal interaction involved, but it’s actually easy. You know how all of the gurus say to make your website as professional as possible, stick to business, and throw your personal life and emotions aside? Ditch that advice – it doesn’t create trust.
The professional nature of a website isn’t diminished by adding a touch of humanity to your pages. People want to know who you are, not just what you’re selling. So, how do people do it? Some businesses post photos from staff meetings, birthday celebrations, and fun group outings as a way of showing people they’re all human.
Others profile their beloved pets as members of their team. Jayna, a 60 pound Siberian Husky, is listed as “Head Supervisor” for the Clunker Junker, overseeing all operations to ensuring everything is running smoothly. Anyone who loves animals will smile at this and know they’re doing business with someone of like mind.
Generating smiles over the phone
Phone support has such a bad reputation that an entire website has been created to help people find those rare phone numbers that will connect you to a human being. Since people already expect phone support to be difficult, anytime you talk to someone on the phone, they’re likely expecting an unpleasant experience. This is your chance to impress them.
Next time you pick up the phone to connect with someone, use an upbeat voice and be excited to talk to them. Even if you have to read a script, you don’t have to be a robot. Also, use adjectives that deviate from robot-speak. Instead of saying, “How are you?” say something like, “How are you this fine afternoon?” If the person returns the question, say something like, “I’m amazing, thanks for asking.”
People want interactions that lift them up and make them feel great. Your products might be wonderful, but when you give people what they really want – that human connection – they’ll trust you, and be more confident when maintaining a business relationship with you.