In this increasingly digital world, it is easy to forget that emotion still drives consumer behavior. In this age of constant distraction, a few moments of attention is precious and coveted.

This may sound like an outdated notion, but relationships, authenticity, and trust still matter. If your audience doesn’t feel connected to you, they will jump ship when the next best thing comes along. Brands that command loyalty convey a genuine sense of who they are, and their customers resonate with that.

Sure, the actual product or service is important, but in the end, understanding your audience and what drives them to buy that product or service puts you a step ahead of your competitors. Features and benefits can drive a marketing plan, but these are not things that create warm fuzzies.

I have spent my entire career in some form of “sales” role, though I have never thought of it like that. To me, I was helping others — recognizing opportunities to build relationships and dream up solutions together, while inviting them along for the ride. The approach has always been: “What is the problem, and how can I help you solve it?”, or, “What is the opportunity and how can we partner on building that?”.

Some lessons I have learned along the way are:

Be Authentic If you are passionate about what you are doing, it shows. People don’t want to be manipulated or sold to. Whatever their motivation, they want to feel good after committing to invest in your product. They are more likely to buy from people who really believe in their brand and are there to bring them something of value.

Listen Creating a conversation and actually listening can go a long way. Remember, you are there to better understand how to solve their problem. Selective listening is one of the fastest ways to erode trust in a relationship. If you spend all your time “selling” you may miss out on an opportunity to truly help someone.

Be Patient No relationship happens overnight and you can’t force it. Though people tend to be driven by emotion in making purchasing decisions, they also want to make sure they have checked all their boxes. Be there to answer questions and give them time to feel good about their choice.

Follow Through This should go without saying, but deliver what you promised, or better yet, over-deliver. Trust is the backbone of any long-term relationship and chasing new customers is always more difficult than keeping the ones you have.

But mainly, do it because it is the right thing to do.

Human behavior is a wondrous display to behold — complex and unpredictable — but it is also incredibly intuitive if we engage a bit more like people and a bit less like a businesses. Ultimately, all interactions are Human to Human.

At OBEN, data informs our process but it is the individual stories and experiences we believe propel your message forward. We pour our passion into understanding the real people behind the metrics, as well as how best to reach them, creating genuine results for our brands, and the lives they touch each day.

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