No one should doubt or question the power of empathy in life, and as a result in sales. But saying you are empathetic is a long way from practicing empathy. Many of the proponents of the concept in sales, stay very much at the concept level. But you know that we are about execution, everything else is just talk. And there is a lot of talk, and little associated action when it come to empathy in sales. Empathy needs to be more than a feeling, it must be accompanied by actions.
More Than A Feeling
The key to empathy is to actually identify with and understand a person’s perspective and related emotions. That is more than a feeling, and requires more than acknowledgement. Especially in sales where your ultimate goal is to influence the outcome. While we may struggle to express it at times, we know when someone is truly empathetic with us. You can see that they actually trying to understand and deal with and from our perspective. Not just smiling and saying the right words.
One has to ask how you can be empathetic while you are “probing for pain?”
Most people simply confuse or interchange sympathetic, empathetic and simpatico. An innocent mistake in most cases, but not in sales. Empathy done wrong can lead to buyers getting a sense incongruity, that prevents them from fully engaging. It is one of those things that you can’t fully describe, but directly impacts action, or lack of it. It also does not take much to demonstrate true empathy, especially when empathy is genuine, and not a sales tools. The questions you ask, how you ask them, and why, will demonstrate to the buyer whether you are real or not. Here is why: