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 ...

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