Moments of interaction.
They are precious times. Moments when you’ve made a connection through talking. Conversations that satisfy, when things just click. This is what makes us human, when we communicate with empathy and emotional intelligence.
Good conversation builds bonds, engenders trust and nurtures relationships.
It can be natural and effortless. At other times it needs more thought.
But whatever the encounter or the person it is an art, and art is rooted in good technique.
Technique that can be applied across all situations – from first time meetings to old friends and relationships.
We believe that the communication between brand and consumer is no different. Brands need to borrow from the techniques of good conversation. To practice its art. Here are a few pointers…
Choose your moment.
No-one gives their best to a conversation when the situation, or mood is badly timed. Get this wrong and your attempts to strike a chord have every chance of going nowhere or fizzling out.
Be personal, use people’s name, acknowledge status. Be human centric not customer centric.
Learn to listen.
Understand what makes your audience tick. Avoid planning your next line with a glazed look while your audience speaks. Listen attentively and you will learn more and be more empathetic than you thought possible.
Compliment and show gratitude.
Flatter your audience, show respect and encourage their endeavours.
Tell authentic stories, stand in your own truth. Listen to and care about the responses.
Be in tune with status and situation.
Find common ground.
Discover mutual interests. They act as a springboard for deeper and more respectful dialogue.
Be relevant, topical and in-touch.
Keep your ear to the ground and reflect what is happening in the world and around the audience you are talking to.
Avoid the insensitive.
Don’t attempt jokes and topics that could go pear-shaped.
Silence can be golden.
Don’t over communicate. There is no need where there’s nothing to say. It only becomes conversational spam.
These are our reference points for how we deal with our clients’ brand communication challenges and how we deal with each other. It would be nice to get all of the above in place every time. But even one or two applications can make a big difference, making those talking moments just a little more precious. Privately and professionally.
In a world where views and standpoints are becoming increasingly entrenched we could all do with stepping back and practicing the art of conversation in whatever situation we find ourselves in.
It’s good to talk.