Moving from Rapport to Empathy during Fundamentals Week. A lot of salespeople do not understand why empathy should even matter or how it makes a difference in successfully creating a sales experience that achieves optimal results.
In this episode I discuss how to effectively use empathy in the right ways and from the proper place inside.
Just a warning, if you don’t actually care about what happens with your prospects and your goal doesn’t revolve around putting them in a better position in life as a result of working with you – then you won’t like this episode.
Links For This Episode:
A good definition on Empathy
Episode 13 – Transcript
Welcome to Episode 13 of The Sales Experience Podcast. My name is Jason Cutter and
if you are listening I hope that you are in a sales role, working as a sales manager or leader, or maybe thinking about getting into sales but aren’t sure if you have what it takes. No matter what led you hear I appreciate you taking the time to listen to some guy talk about the sales experience.
Similar to the backbone of every sales role I have been in or managed, I do this podcast because I truly want to improve the lives of salespeople, help them achieve their goals, change the landscape of the ‘sales profession’ towards being a positive in the mind of consumers, and by extension of all of that – improve the experience that your customers have when buying from you.
I want nothing more than to take what I learned – the parts that worked and the parts that didn’t and share that with as many people as possible. I care about your success.
On that note, let’s talk about empathy. I put empathy as the second fundamental stage in any sales process. First you have to being with rapport – some level of a friendly relationship. Then immediately after that has to come empathy. Empathy can be defined as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, and maybe even know what it’s like to be in their shoes.
Why is empathy important? There is a quote that says it all – people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
How do you show empathy for your prospect? One great way is to follow these three steps.
Step 1 – ask questions with the goal of understanding their issue, needs or wants are relative to the solution you are providing with your product or service.
Step 2 – actually listen to what they say, and don’t say. Use active listening. Pay attention.
Step 3 – respond in an appropriate and caring way.
What does appropriate and caring sound like? Fundamentally anything that relays to them that a) you were listening and b) you care. From one human to another, you care and hope the best for them. You asked your questions, they responded, and you might say something like:
– Wow, that sounds like that was difficult. Or,
– And then what happened? Or,
– Tell me more about… Or,
– What did it feel like when that happened? Or,
– What are you hoping to find (or, What are you hoping I can help you with?)
Most sales people I have seen or spoken with will usually describe themselves in similar ways to a therapist. When done right your prospects might even share things with you that they don’t tell most other people. While you shouldn’t need that to be successful in sales, if you are creating that type of sales experience regularly, then you are doing it right in my opinion.
They will know you care when you have shown them that you can empathize with their situation. Doesn’t mean you have been in their exact shoes. No two people will ever go through the same exact things in life – some similar events, like the death of a close family member, or financial devastation, but never the same exactly path. But it means that you have either similar experiences or know how your product or service helps people in situations like theirs.
Just like with rapport, the key is the balance with empathy and action. On the next episode I will talk about when empathy goes wrong.
So do you need empathy when selling something like cars? Yes. No matter what you are selling, put yourself in the shoes of your prospects, and of course it helps if you have actually been in similar situations, get in touch with what might be feeling, needing or wanting, then solve that. Even if its helping them buy a car from you
Empathy and caring are sorely needed in this world. And I am not referring to the big issues in the world, I am referring at the micro level. At your own level of interactions each day. Maybe at the grocery store, Starbucks, in the parking lot, at your company.
If you are looking for help with ways to be effective in sales, whether its struggling to find the right blend of empathy and closing, or any other area you want to talk about, send me an email at email@example.com and let’s see how I can help.
Until next time, always remember that everything in life is sales and people will remember the experience you gave them.