“You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view – until you climb into their skin and walk around in it.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
My grand mom was a KILLER cook.
Her chicken cutlets were incredible.
The cutlets were so good, they caused arguments before Sunday dinners.
A constant stream of cousins would walk by and grab the cutlets as they came off the frying pan.
Everyone would downplay how many they swiped.
There would be none left to put on the table.
This cutlet heist played out over decades.
The early bird gets the cutlet…
One day I asked my my grand mom to teach me how to make them.
My version was average at best.
The cutlets all made it to the table.
Something was missing.
Years later I learned I forgot her “secret ingredient” that tied everything together.
The art of COOKING & SALES share the same principles.
Leaving out 1 ingredient can separate AVERAGE from REMARKABLE.
In SALES, that secret ingredient is EMPATHY.
Empathy is defined as the ability to step into someone else’s shoes & experience emotions from their perspective.
In his new book, Sales EQ, Jeb Blount writes, “Empathy is the most important of all the Sales Emotional Intelligence traits.”
The BIGGEST communication problem in SALES is we tend to listen to reply, not understand.
This habit can crush opportunities and destroy relationships.
Your EMPATHY must precede your advice.
If your customer doesn’t feel you UNDERSTAND them, you have zero chance of INFLUENCING them.
People like to think they’re special. This mindset carries over to their perceived problems.
It doesn’t matter how simple the customer’s problem is to fix.
It doesn’t matter how amazing your solution is.
Your solutions (and sales) will go unheard if your customers don’t feel you understand them.
3 Ways To Bring More Empathy to Your Sales Game:
Never Interrupt or Correct
- Give your customer your full attention.
- Listen. Then listen some more.
- Let them say everything they need to say.
ReState Their Position Back to Them
- After they finish speaking, say, “If I hear you correctly, you feel that…”
- Then list each of their points back to them 1 by 1.
- This will make your customer feel heard.
- This will make them receptive to what you have to say.
Show How Your Can Help
- Only after you do the above, offer your ideas.
- Be Concise.
- Be Relevant.
Empathy is a key ingredient for success in SALES and LIFE.
Empathy will increase your influence.
Empathy will help you close the sales that feed your family.
Will that food make it to the table?
Depends who’s cooking…