When we think of successful sales people we might not jump to describe them as empathetic individuals. Empathy isn’t something that is used very often in terms of sales within business, but it should be focused on as something to develop for those in the sales industry. Training your staff to understand empathy and its values to a thriving sales environment could make the difference between a stagnating business and one that thrives.
There are a number of reasons why empathy is a vital part of a successful salesperson’s characteristic makeup.
Think as the Prospect – Firstly it allows the salesperson to view the world through the eyes of the potential customer. You can think as they would, what would you want the sales approach to be, which problems can you help them resolve? If you can understand the person on the other side of the transaction you can begin to tweak your approach to maximise results.
Build Trusting Relationships – In order to have a successful long-term relationship with a customer, one that turns them from a first time buyer into a loyal customer, it is important to build trust. Without trust you can’t build a relationship in any part of your life. In sales this truth is no different. Being empathetic to your customer shows them that you understand and care about their business and life, that you are willing to help them. The more you can show empathy the more connected you will feel.
Be a Team Player – Empathy allows you to become a much needed and respected member of the customer’s team. It isn’t just that you are the supplier of something that they feel like purchasing. Instead, use empathy to display how you accurately see their problems and have a long-term resolution to it by asking lots of questions and researching their industry and competitors thoroughly. If your customer can see that you understand how to improve their business with your product or service they are more likely to make you a part of their team, not just an afterthought.
Stand Out from the Crowd – Believe us, it is rare for a sales approach to include overt empathy. Your potential customer will have likely met other potential suppliers and will have heard hard sales pitches and the usual spiel that you are used to from salespersons since the year dot. Being empathetic, asking a lot of questions and being a good listener will make you stand out from your competitors.
Build Credibility – Being a good listener and consistently showing that you have the answers to resolve issues before they become a big problem will build your reputation as a credible business associate for your customer. By increasing your knowledge of your potential customer, their service and industry, you can offer insightful advice regarding your product or service.
As you can see there is a wide range of benefits to taking an empathetic approach to sales, helping you to build long-lasting trust with a customer.