The Most Powerful Sales and Marketing Aptitude

For many years, we've known that empathy is one of the single most decisive factors in separating the average from the exceptional salesperson. Psychological profiles have been developed to help sales managers identify it in sales candidates.

I always tried to teach salespeople that empathy was the act of leaving your side of the desk and sitting in your customer's chair and experiencing her world the way she sees and feels it. The visual representation of moving from one side of the desk to the other seemed to help.

Sometimes I would get asked, "Isn't that a form of manipulation?" My answer was always the same, "Not if you're heart is in the right place and your goal is to help and provide value for the customer. By empathizing with them you're attempting to see the world through their eyes."

Often when teaching a workshop, I'd see the eyes of the most experienced salespeople start to glaze over when I discussed empathy. They were almost always men back then and the idea of empathy sounded a little too much like warm and fuzzy or touchy-feely to them. It wasn't manly! Wrong!

Empathy starts with listening with all your senses so that you can enter the heart and soul of another. All of your channels of communication must be open and they must be focused on the other person. Then, and only then, can you empathize at your highest level. Think of it as knowing how to read another person.

Instead of thinking sales for a minute put yourself in the position of a physician. Which one do you think would be most effective? A doctor who takes time to listen to you and get to know you personally or the one who gets right to business in the examining room and interrupts your description of your symptoms with questions. Which one do you want as your physician?

It works the same way with your clients and prospective customers. They want someone who sees the world through their eyes – someone willing to walk in their shoes.

You can increase your own empathy. Spend time with other cultures and people you might normally not get to know. Ask them questions about their lives, their fears, and their dreams. Instead of talking about work in the company lunchroom, spend time really getting to know your colleagues. Listen to people – really listen. Dan Pink in his fantastic book, "A Whole New Mind" has an entire section on empathy with some ideas and exercises and how to increase it.

Women, by the way, tend to naturally be more empathetic. When I had a large sales force the majority of the women outperformed the men. There were exceptions on both sides but I think the empathy of most women give them a distinct advantage of connecting with their customers.

Empathy isn't just a great advantage is selling. It's also a distinct advantage in life. Buy "A Whole New Mind" (There is a link in the recommend books section.) and I promise you that you'll not only learn how to be more empathetic but you'll also learn a lot about yourself.

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People do business with people that they know, like, and trust. Since we can’t pick or choose the “type” of person we are most likely to trust and like right away, we need to learn how to effectively with everyone’s personality style.” Learn how in this report and start increasing your sales right away!

Selling To The Four Personality Types

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