So I’ve recently returned to the gym and I’ve started back listening to podcasts. I have recently been listening to Gary Vaynerchuk on SoundCloud. He had an incredible example of showing that you truly care, understanding your client, going that extra mile, and the power of word of mouth. The thing these all have in common is connection. I don’t know about you but I’m seeing a lot of people feeling incredibly disconnected regardless of how digitally interconnected our world has become.

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Here’s the thing, I highly doubt that Wine Library does that for every $117 order. I’m also fairly confident that for a while there they were questioning the practice altogether.  And then it paid off!

So what can we learn from this example?

Connections take time

I have to admit, a 3-6 month turn around on such an action and connection is quite short. Most businesses I know have a 12-24 month turnaround time. That means that it will take 12-24 months before making a connection will pay off.

I have mentioned in the past that it takes 7-12 touches to convert someone to buy from you. As you can imagine, those touches can be quite some time apart.

Connections need trust to convert

I’ve previously spoken about how we need to like, know & trust a person before we commit to connecting and purchasing. In this example, Gary Vaynerchuk was able to bypass a lot of this by leveraging the connection between the two clients.

‘But I can’t predict that Kara!’

No you can’t predict who is going to talk to whom and lead to a big sale, in part that’s why you treat all connections as if they will, but there’s a short cut. Testimonials!

A testimonial is a way that you can short cut a connection. You can do that because of the network of friends the giver has and relying on them seeing their testimonial, the other is the psychology of testimonials.

There is a body of psychology which sits behind testimonials, driving us to imply a connection and trust in the giver and thereby the service they are giving the testimony of.

The connection has to be genuine and meaningful

As Gary Vaynerchuk mentions, while a fruit basket or note is nice, it does not replace a researched and concerted smaller effort directly relevant to the receiver. What these more concerted efforts do is show true interest and concern for the receiver, not merely ticking some box because it is expected.

One way you can quickly develop a genuine connection is by livestreaming. I know I go on about it and that it can be intimidating for some, however it is the fastest way to build a genuine connection. Not only do people see you live, hear you , and watch your reactions, they can interact with you. Now that is a powerful tool.

Here’s a hint, I understand that livestreaming is intimidating, which is why I encourage members of my group to go live in the group to practice.

Value external connections

The more I stop and think, the more I feel that we have been lead to believe that word of mouth is a dirty way to grow a business and that leads are the best way. I have to be honest, I struggle to think of a business who would be better off turning their back on word of mouth in preference for new leads, unless of course, they are that bad that they lose their customers more often than they retain them!

A word of mouth client may have taken longer to come about, but it might not have, the thing is that you didn’t have to do any direct work with that client to win them over. Now consider a cold lead and the relationship building you have to do to move them into a place to buy. That can take a while.

A client gained through word of mouth can, in fact, strengthen two bonds and done well you will find you can have an exponential growth through networks rather than a linear growth through a list.

In the end

In this digital age, we have forgotten this. We have forgotten that there is a person on the other side of the screen. (That’s how we get keyboard warriors & trolls) We have forgotten that that person booking our service or buying our product online is actually a person. Hey, sometimes they even forget that we are real. We have lost that personal connection.

In the end we all have this need to feel connected to others, we all want to feel valued, we all like to feel special.

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