How can I help you?”

Five simple words to start a conversation. There are many ways to say them. But who is saying them and how the words are said can make all the difference. Whether they're words used by a gum-chomping teenager serving you at a fast-food counter or a suit-and-tie professional you meet at a networking event, one may be obligatory whereas the other is more genuine. But there's more.

At a minimum, all relationships begin with a “handshake moment”—those first few seconds that say a great deal about the character of the person standing before you. Why should a company be any different? “Content marketing” has evolved traditional marketing into a new level of personalization as a means of bridging the gap between the ...

Get Conversation Marketing now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.