It’s really what matters – and not just for business either. Connecting with those around us enriches our lives and makes a difference. Think about it. We have record highs of those who suffer loneliness and depression. Families live far apart. Sometimes friendships are merely words sent back and forth on a screen. Being right there in the moment with someone new can keep life interesting and exciting. Let’s look at three of the best ways to make that connection.

Be There

Where do you go during the day? When you are out and about, you might someone new. At the store. Down by the mailbox. At a social event. Approach people with a smile. Look at them in the eyes. Be interested. Start with a small comment. “What an interesting hat!” “Where did you get that hilarious t-shirt?” or “We sure have been having nice weather, eh?” Asking a question generally leads to an answer and maybe a question in return. If the person doesn’t seem to want to connect, move on. Look for people who interest you.

Take Care

The best way to care about someone, new or not, is to listen. Everyone’s got a story to share. Encourage the telling of it by nodding your head slightly, responding to the details, and most importantly, allowing the person to finish it. Too often people are not paying much attention. Instead, they are already planning their next comment. It’s almost like two running monologues with no connection between them! People really appreciate someone who seems truly interested and wants to hear more. Be that person if this connection interests you.

Do Share

Also tell your tale. Let others know more about you. Be authentic. Be yourself. Pay close attention to how the person is reacting to what you are saying. Watch for visual cues. Looking at you? Smiling? Asking follow-on questions? Know when it’s time to stop talking. Should you feel drawn, ask for something more. Swap phone numbers? A cup of coffee? Lunch together? Check to see if the connection is interest to him or her.

Most people crave these connections. Reaching out to people really does make a difference. Maybe one of those new people will become a friend or a customer. Even so, allow the bit of conversation and contact put some spark in your afternoon. By being friendly, you are passing it along. Connecting with others is another way of paying it forward, as they say.

Here’s what we say. We’re friendly folks at Online Sales Pro and are ready for any comments or questions you may have. We’ve got a way for those connections to remain current. Keep in touch with news you want to share with your customers. Let them know what is happening. And remember – those connections are what really matters.