Build Sales Empathy Blog
Learn How To Build Sales Empathy
Build Sales Empathy – how important is it for sales people to build empathy with their prospects? Before we answer that question – what is empathy?
The dictionary defines empathy as: “Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other person’s frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another’s position”
Why is empathy important for the salesperson? Empathy in sales builds trust in the relationship with prospects and clients, empathy strengthens the working relationships within the sales team and results as an increase in sales.
Bestselling author and business guru Stephen Covey said: “When you show deep empathy toward others…That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.” Empathy in sales improves communication and fosters relationships. Harvard Review in their white paper ‘The Most (and Least) Empathetic Companies’ says this “There is a direct link between empathy and commercial success.”
Let’s delve a little deeper into sales empathy – empathy must start with caring. Caring about the other person how they feel, understanding their values and seeking to help them be successful.
What is Empathy
“Empathy is the art of stepping virtually into the someone else’s shoes and understanding their views, feeling, values and their perspectives on life, and using these to guide your behaviour.”
Empathy is an emotional intelligence skill, defined, as I have above, the skill to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. Empathy then is the capacity to know what another person is thinking and feeling. Not being able to empathise in a selling environment, the salesperson will be unable influence the sales situation. Prospects will only buy from salespeople who understand them.
How can the Salesperson Build Empathy
It is essential to get an understand who your prospect is, only then will you be able to empathise with your prospect and sell to and influence effectively.
The first step is to get out of your own head and identify with your prospect’s emotions, feeling, values and thinking. Focus on your prospect, the facial expression, the tone of voice, the language patterns your prospect is using. In other words tune you out and your prospect in without any outward distractions.
Become an active listener, listen for your prospects concerns, understand the present situation the prospect has with your product or service. Gently ask questions to get your prospect to open up to you in a friendly and relaxed manner. As you listen, nod in agreement to your prospect’s comments. Ask how their dealing with the present situation, what impact is it having on their business. What would your prospect change if they could? What has the prospects considered in the past as a solution? Again ask these in a conversational tone that is relaxed and in a nonaggressive way.
As you listen your prospect will reveal his thinking feelings, values and emotions. You will easily discover your prospects decision making process.
To win at sales you need to understand the values, behaviours and emotions – the emotional intelligence of your prospects. “You need to learn to read your prospect” Become a great listener and learn how to draw your prospect out by careful questioning, simple questions such as, “that’s interesting, do you mind telling me more?” or “do you mind telling me, why is that important to you?”
Really listening to your prospects answers will you build your emotional intelligence and empathy and will ultimately assist you to win more sales