I recently wrote website content for The Little Speech Tree, a new pediatric speech therapy practice in North Carolina. When I spoke with founder Caitlin Burke, she said something that stuck in my head.
“It’s all about creating moments of human connection.”
For a speech-language pathologist like Caitlin, that begins with the child – getting into the child’s world, physically and emotionally, to build trust and create an environment in which the child feels comfortable expressing himself or herself.
Through therapy, the child can then learn and improve the skills needed to connect with people in all areas of life.
Caitlin shared the story of a 15-year-old boy with autism who said “I love you” to his mother for the first time. She said everyone in the room became emotional when it happened.
As a father who’s grateful to have two healthy daughters who haven’t had to face such obstacles, that story hit home with me, too.
Now, I’m not so naïve or arrogant that I would compare anything I do or any business function with this type of milestone.
But I do think one of the most important things we can do as business owners and marketers is to create moments of human connection.
I’ve been a big believer for quite some time that there’s no more B2B or B2C. All business is human-to-human.
It doesn’t matter if you’re deciding who to hire, who to take on as a client, who to refer, or what strategic partnerships to pursue. The human element cannot be overstated.
It has to feel right. You have to feel some kind of connection.
Obviously, you’re not going to make someone feel like a mother hearing her 15-year-old son say he loves her for the first time.
But you can elicit a smile. An affirming nod. A lean forward. Maybe even an LOL. These are small, human moments that mean a lot.
You can create moments of human connection when you…
…tell a real-world story of how you made a difference for an individual or organization.
…share a personal anecdote that shows you can relate to a person’s challenges.
…simply listen to someone speak, let them finish their story, and respond thoughtfully.
…provide a window into who you are as an individual and what you stand for instead of “sticking to business.”
I’m not saying people will make decisions without hearing about the nuts and bolts of your business. They need to know what you do and the value of what you do.
But those conversations will carry more weight and become more memorable when you create moments of human connection along the way.
Having the solution to someone’s problem isn’t necessarily enough. There’s always someone else with a solution that’ll do the trick.
If you want to truly differentiate yourself in a way that influences decisions, focus on creating moments of human connection that will move a person to say…
“This person gets me. They don’t pretend to have all the answers, but they’re willing to listen and want to learn more. I feel comfortable with this person.”
When you establish that human connection, all the business details tend to fall into place. Because you’ve begun building a relationship based on something far more meaningful.