As a salesperson, your compensation largely depends on how well you perform. Specifically, if you don’t sell, you don’t get paid. This can make you susceptible to self-interest where only your agenda matters. In the process, empathy and goodwill for the prospect or client are discarded. This attitude is self-defeating because clients don’t want to be viewed as just another sale. By showing empathy, you can attract and retain good clients.
Empathy is the ability to identify with or experience the thoughts, feelings or behaviors of another. Specifically, you understand where the other person is coming from and see things from their point of view. Therefore, to emphasize with a prospect or client, you must discard your commitment to your agenda and focus fully on their needs. Once you identify those needs, concentrate on effectively meeting them. Regardless of whether your sales and commission are bleak, your primary goal is to examine what the client needs and find ways to fulfill them. You and the client should want the same thing.
Through emotional intelligence, you recognize and comprehend your -- and your clients’-- emotions. You apply this awareness to better manage your conduct and relationships. Through self-awareness, you understand your emotional triggers, such as what makes you nervous when speaking to a prospect and how it affects her. Through self-management, you control your impulses and reactions, such as staying composed, focused and productive during stressful times. Through social awareness, you empathize with clients’ goals, experiences and fears. For example, a prospect is timid about investing in your product because of a negative experience she had with one of your competitors. Rather than bash your competitor, ask probing questions to figure out the depth of her apprehension; this helps you to determine the best ways to satisfy her.
Integrity and Trust
Lack of integrity and dishonesty are surefire ways to turn off a prospect or client. If you sell a client a product knowing that it’s wrong for her and she uncovers the truth, she might take her business elsewhere. Long-term sales relationships are built on integrity and trust. For the client to trust you, she must feel you are on her side. She must believe in not only the product you are selling, but also in you. Rather than view selling as something to do to a prospect, view it as something to do with her. In the process of selling, you learn who your client is as a person while building a solid business relationship.
Intuition and Persistence
Successful salespeople know how to persuade prospects and clients to buy what they are selling. They are also persistent and intuitive. They knew who to pursue, how long to pursue and when to stop pursuing. Empathy gives you the power to trust your intuition to effectively make those decisions. Instead of hounding a client who has made up her mind about not buying your product, you move on with confidence to the next prospect knowing you gave it your best shot. Persistence also applies to your true motivations and tone of voice. If you insist to the client that she will regret not buying your product, your tone might indicate that you only care about closing the sale. However, if you truly believe that it is in her best interest to buy your product then your voice will reflect sincerity.
Empathy allows you to creatively identify and solve client needs. For example, providing creative payment conditions and terms, solving delivery, technical, inventory and shipping problems, and providing training programs and design services are ways to support client needs through an empathetic approach.
Thanks for reading!
For more blogs to help your business thrive, check back at www.abncircle.com every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for more great tips, pointers and suggestions.