Your natural ability to empathize is one of the most important assets you have when it comes to connecting with your customer and as a refined skill, it’s key to your success in sales!
On today’s show discover:
- … that the ability to empathise is natural but the skill to do it well takes practice;
- … how communicating sincere empathy can positively impact your sales;
- … 6 ways to enhance and improve your natural ability to empathize.
Empathy in Sales
Developing your natural ability to empathize has big benefits for sales people and here’s why:
- When you change the way you think you change the way you feel;
- When you change they way you feel, you change the way you act.
- and in sales…we know that they way you act (the things you do) influence your success.
When you practice empathy it allows you to view the world through your customer’s eyes. It let’s you see their problem from an entirely different perspective and understand it at a much deeper level.
Empathy builds trust. It shows you really care about your customer as a person. You make a connection and that helps them open up and really start talking.
Empathy also helps you stand-out because many salespeople are just going through the motions and customers pick up on it. But you’re different, you’re not just about making the sale, you’re listening and you sincerely want to help. Because you understand what they’re going through they see you as having credibility and as someone who can help them solve their problem.
6 Different Ways to Develop Your Ability to Empathize
1 – Imagine Yourself in Their Situation
Really take time to think through how you would feel if you were in your customer’s shoes—especially regarding the pain they are experiencing. How would it affect other areas of your life? How would it make you feel emotionally?
2 – Imagine Them as a Child
Often when you consider a person in the vulnerable stage of childhood, your defenses lower and you may find it easier to understand and relate to them.
3 – Think about Your Own Experiences
When your customer begins to share their story focus on the feelings and situations that you’ve experienced in the past that are similar. If a customer is in constant pain, think about how you felt last time you had a severe toothache. How did it impact your personality? Were you desperate for relief? Were you grumpy and short tempered? Relying on your own experiences can deepen your emotional insight into your customer’s situation.
4 – Listen to Understand
Listen to your customer with the intent to understand. Many times we listen with the intent to respond and we miss what is being said. Pretend that when your customer is done telling you their story you need to turn around and retell it to someone else. Listen for those hidden messages, how they say what they say, where they place emphasis in their story. When you listen to understand you’ll gain insight you would otherwise miss out on.
5 – Practice Communicating Empathy
A big part of developing empathy is your ability to communicate empathically with your customers. Let them know you heard them and understand where they’re coming from and how they feel.
Maybe your customer Margaret says something like “I’m dealing with this pain all the time now and some days I can’t even drive my car. I don’t know how I’ll manage if it gets worse.”
Someone with little empathy might say: “Ok so you have pain and it’s getting worse”
But because you’re practicing empathy you respond by saying
“So, Margaret this pain is on your mind all the time and you’re scared because you see it taking away your independence.”
6 – Practice with a Friend
One of the best ways to develop your natural empathy is to practice. Have a conversation with a family member or a friend, someone you know well. Listen with the intent to understand and communicate how you think they’re feeling. You might be REALLY surprised how this turns out.
When you communicate sincere empathy you understand your customer’s situation better, establish trust, credibility and stand out as someone who cares. All of which will help you close more sales.
Remember these six easy methods for developing your ability to empathize:
- Use your imagination and put yourself in their shoes
- Change your perspective and see them as a child
- Rely on your own experiences
- Listen with the intent to understand
- Communicate empathically
- Practice with a friend
Today’s one two punch
Improve Empathy – Improve Sales
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