How to Connect With People Through A Common Identity

Connecting to people and cutting through the massive amount of noise in today’s world is increasingly difficult every day. Sales professionals are constantly asking for advice on how to develop better messages that resonate with people. This tip might point you in the right direction. 

Why Finding Common Identities Matters

I was recently listening to an audio book by Adam Grant. He made an interesting point about how humans connect by finding common identities.

In the story, a study was done about people in Manchester England voluntarily providing assistance to strangers.

The person conducting the study asked an individual to lay down on a sidewalk. They then observed how many people stopped to help the person on the sidewalk.

40% of the people who walked by stopped to help. Next, they put a Manchester United (the soccer/football team) jersey on the person and asked them to lay down on the ground again.

This time, the number of people who stopped to help the person jumped up to 90%.

The key was that the people who helped the person on the sidewalk connected through their perceived common identity of supporting Manchester United. Nothing changed— except for what the person was wearing.

Refine Your Messaging With Intentional Empathy

Think about this when trying to engage with people. The more you seek out and play to a common identity that you share with them, the higher the likelihood that you will connect with them.

You accomplish this by being intentionally empathetic. That is, looking at things from others’ point of view or “standing in their shoes”. By taking a minute to do this, you will start finding those commonalities that you’ll be able to insert into your messaging.

Once you find the “common connecting point”, insert it into the form of a micro-story. This is simply a very short story about what you both have in common.

Humans connect to other humans in a much easier way when stories are used — as storytelling is hard-wired into everyone’s DNA as part of our social evolution.

Once you find a common identity with someone, use a story framed around that common identity to create a memorable connection.

The Improvised Sales Intelligence™️ Book of Play gives you the tools, tactics, and techniques to become a more effective and agile communicator in spontaneous sales conversations. Download the FREE Book of Play here.

About the author

Keith Lubner

Keith Lubner is Chief Strategy Officer at Sales Gravy and acts as an advisor,…

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