If you are anything like most  entrepreneurs, you have an abundance of business ideas. The ideas sound great in your head, but explaining them to others is difficult. Getting your  message across to customers and getting them to buy or engage, is even harder.

"Build it and they will come," is just not true unless you have tons of followers or some sort of pre-existing audience. You have to effectively  communicate your message to get people to listen.

I got together with some other successful entrepreneurs to brainstorm what it takes to get people to listen. Even more importantly, once they are listening, how to get them to respond, buy or engage with your business.

Don't Give Prospects Too Many Choices

As a consumer, I don't like too many choices. In a busy world with lots of competition for our time and money, I can't spend tons of time researching every single purchase.

I respond most when I'm targeted accurately and given only a small handful of options.

Conversely, I have seen companies who have given me dozens of choices that get extremely confusing. Unless it's a major purchase that I have days to research, it's easier to find a competitor that does the work for me and makes it easy to figure out which option to go with.

Make A Real Connection with Your Audience

There is a lot of poor information out there about what connecting with an audience is all about. As someone who has built a successful marketing company, I have seen first-hand what works and what doesn't.

I had a high-level conversation with Sami Rusani, a marketer and serial entrepreneur, who says that you have to figure out what triggers people.

Rusani told me you have to use what is at your disposal to get attention, be it visuals such as videos, photos or illustrations, words or sound. One trick is to make a connection no one has made before. This gets their imagination going and attracts their attention.

Rusani said, "Usually it's desire or fear, which explains why hot women and crazy/extreme pictures in ads perform so well. No one thinks twice about mediocrity."

Speak From the Heart and Share Your Truth

If your company has a blog, does video or uses social media you might find this advice especially interesting. This bit of wisdom comes from Tanaaz Chubb, Founder of the spiritual blog Forever Conscious.

Chubb says, "The key is figuring out how to genuinely connect with your audience."

"It is likely someone shares the same experience as you, and being relatable is ultimately what is going to get people interested in your voice in the long run," says Chubb.

Chubb goes on to explain that when you open your heart and share your experience and passion behind what you are doing, people connect with you and therefore are more likely to listen.

Stop Making Assumptions

Getting people to listen and buy is just the first step; getting them to come back is the challenge.

Let's say you have a meal delivery service. You get a lot of new customers, but they just aren't coming back and ordering again.

Most business owners will start to make all kinds of assumptions as to what the problem is. Some defensive business owners even blame the customer, thinking that they aren't intelligent enough to realize the value of the product or service.

Stop making assumptions right now. It could be one of the worst things you do in your business. I have made the mistake several times in various businesses of making assumptions with no real data behind them.

In this age of intelligent data and analytics, we can figure out almost anything by studying the data. It is just outright silly to not use data to your advantage.

Finally, If you want to get your prospective customers to open their wallets for you, you have to be open to change. Don't get stuck on one particular marketing angle. Even your business may have to pivot to be more appealing to prospective customers.

Published on: Aug 9, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.