If your efforts to connect with customers seem to often fall flat…
And you find it difficult to get people’s attention and keep them interested…
Chances are your communication skills could use some improvement.
Even good communicators can benefit from brushing up on their proficiency in these skills.
Over the next several weeks, we’re going to take a closer look at some key communication skills that will help your marketing efforts connect with your customers.
Master the most fundamental skill
The first skill to master is: paying attention.
Now, you may be thinking, “Well yeah, that’s obvious. No big deal.”
But not so fast… let’s take a deeper look at what this means.
Paying attention is the action of closely observing who you are talking to.
It’s being aware of them and actively noticing things about them.
Through this awareness and observation, you develop a better understanding of who they are, become more sensitive to their needs and wants, and start to be able to experience their feelings, thoughts, and emotions from their viewpoint.
This is known as empathy.
Create chemistry with empathy
Without empathy, your communication has a good chance of creating friction with the person you are talking to.
That’s because when you don’t understand what they like and dislike, what makes them happy or causes them stress, and what they agree and disagree with, you’re likely to inadvertently step on some toes.
Communication is a sort of dance.
The more in-tune you are with your dance partner, the better you can lead and smoothly control the direction of the conversation. And that makes it fun for the people at both ends of the conversation.
If, on the other hand, you have no chemistry with your dance partner, it becomes clumsy and awkward… and uncomfortable (if not downright painful) for both people.
Empathy is what creates chemistry in communication.
And empathy starts with paying attention and actively noticing things about the person you are communicating with.
Practice it until it becomes second nature
Practice paying attention to the people you are communicating with. It’s a skill that improves and gets easier the more you practice it, and eventually becomes second nature.
Give people your full attention. Make eye contact. Notice the expression on their face. Pick up on what emotion they are feeling.
Observe anything else you can about them that gives you clues as to how they are feeling and how they’re responding to the conversation.
Put yourself in their shoes and note what they must be feeling. And then adjust your conversation to better align with what they are willing to talk about.
See how that changes their demeanor and their interest in what you have to say.
Use it in your marketing
This skill of paying attention applies to both in-person conversations with another person and when attempting to connect with customers through your marketing efforts.
Find a way to observe people receiving your marketing messages and pay attention to how they are behaving while they are receiving your message.
If you can’t observe them directly, you can at least check various analytics that give you an indication of how people are responding.
For example, when you send out an email campaign, take a look at your open rates and your click rates. This will give you some idea about the degree to which your communication is resonating with your recipients.
Do more of what is getting a good reaction and less of what seems to be getting a bad or indifferent reaction, and you will start to connect more effortlessly and resonate more strongly with your audience.
The key is to pay attention and notice the reactions of the people at the receiving end of your communications. Then adjust your communication accordingly.
Practice this for a few days and see how it affects your relationships with prospects, customers, and just about anyone else you communicate with.