A fragile economy, limits on accessibility, and workplace health and safety pressures are just a few of the tolls the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on American manufacturing. Therefore, there is no other time than right now for manufacturers of all types to hone in on interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence to make their business and brand stand out, according to Alon Zaibert, a business consultant who was this week’s host of the popular U.S. Manufacturing Twitter chat #USAMfgHour.
“You know how sometimes you meet someone and after a few seconds, you just FEEL there is something there? I call that something Emotional Relevance,” Zaibert said in his opening statement of the chat at 11 a.m. PST on Thursday, July 16, 2020.
How to Improve Emotional Relevance
The three pillars of Emotional Relevance, he said, are:
- Stand Out
- Make an Impact
- Get Personal
As an introductory exercise, Zaibert asked the group to share something personal and to then talk about the details of where they were on Sept. 11, 2001. However, he said, if he asked what everyone had for breakfast last Friday, most people would have a hard time remembering. That reason is that during a tragic event such as Sept. 11, 2001, there is a personal connection to the moment, according to Dan Bigger of Chenango Valley Technologies, @CVTPlastics, an injection molding and tooling company in New York.
“Imagine being able to take your customers through such an experience,” Zaibert said. Subtle or grand, he said, “When we go through an emotional experience it is engraved in our minds for a long time depending on the emotional impact.”
The topic of emotional relevance in business “is so relevant and timely,” said Felix Nater, @FelixNater, a certified security consultant for workplace violence prevention programs. “Whether employers believe it or not, emotions are going to spike defiant conduct on so many workplace-related fronts post Covid-19 Return to Work.”
“Powerful,” said Mike Womack of New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, @NJMEP, a nonprofit organization that improves and supports New Jersey manufacturing. “The idea of creating an ‘emotional response’ comes up often in marketing, and for a good reason. When a piece of content or a conversation can create a powerful emotional impression, it can lead to a long-lasting business relationship.”
Zaibert went on to say that when manufacturers take a customer through an emotional experience, it is easier to trigger that experience again genuinely. “The result will be more openness, empathy, and trust,” he said. If the prospect has other options to buy from, he said, then businesses must focus on an "impactful differentiator."
Businesses can make an impact by “making a positive lasting impression with them,” said Damon Pistulka, @dpistulka, a consultant at Exit Your Way.
“One of the aspects of getting personal is making your customer FEEL they are part of what you are offering,” Zaibert said. “By ‘sharing,’ you make them a partner VS. just another item on a list of recipients. Get personal. Think - what do you actually know about your customer today? What do they know about you?” Inserting Emotional Relevance elements in emails and other content for customers helps create a stronger connection.
Words can open, and close doors,” said Ruby Rusine @SocialSMktg, a social media brand representative at Social Success Marketing.
Also, being visual with clients is more persuasive, he said. Improving a business’s visual appearance on a website and social media can leverage more pull. “Plus, online, visual gets you the algorithmic priority. Especially video,” said Jennifer Wegman, @thejenweg, a social media influencer.
Using a combination of visuals, such as educational resources including infographics, videos, and webinars, helps make information less confusing for manufacturers looking to improve safety and compliance, said Christine Torres @GraphicProducts, public relations specialist for Graphic Products, the manufacturer of the DuraLabel line of industrial safety products and services.
Three pillars of Emotional Relevance. These will make a business more memorable, will make a sales cycle shorter, the customer retention level higher, and result in better closing rates. “Be genuine about it,” Zaibert said. “Worse case ... you got a new friend.”
Anyone who champions U.S. manufacturing can join in on a new conversation each week on Twitter using the hashtag #USAMfgHour. The chat starts at 11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time/2 p.m. Eastern. Share positive blog posts, helpful articles, news, important information, accomplishments, events, and more with other manufacturers and supporters from throughout the country.
Are you interested in hosting a #USAMfgHour chat? Contact organizers @CVTPlastics, @DCSCinc, and @SocialSMktg. For more #USAMfgHour recaps, visit: https://servicecasterblog.com/category/usamfghour-twitter-chat/