The best sales people have an unbelievable ability to climb into the skin of others. They have an uncanny ability to feel what others are feeling. The can sense and feel what someone is experiencing when they’re happy, sad, angry, scared, frustrated, etc. The best salespeople know when others are feeling apprehensive and how it’s affecting them. They can feel a prospects exuberance over a new product launch as much as they can feel the fear over a failed effort. Empathetic sales people can climb into the emotional suits of their customers. Great salespeople have an amazing amount of empathy.
Does empathy make someone a good salesperson, or does selling makes someone empathetic? I’m going with empathy makes someone a good salesperson. Empathy isn’t a trait used only for selling. It’s a life skill. Therefore, if you’re not empathetic in other aspects of your life, learning to sell isn’t going to move you up the empathy scale. However, if you’re empathetic in other parts of your life, then it will serve you well in selling.
Selling is about change. Change makes us nervous, anxious, and unsettled. Change is emotional. When we are emotional, we can be unpredictable, stubborn, combative, irrational, aggressive, and more. These emotional responses to change rear their ugly head in sales. Therefore, the salespeople who can empathize with their clients, those who can truly feel and embrace the challenge, severity, difficulty, risk, complexity and impact of the change to their buyers are far better able to respond to it, than those who aren’t.
Selling is helping. The more we can relate, understand, and empathize with the world of our buyers the better support we can provide during the sales process.
Umempathetic salespeople ask for the sale before it’s time. Unempathetic salespeople try to push additional products when there is clearly NO need. Unempathetic sales people rush the sale. Unempathetic salespeople offer the wrong solutions. Unempathetic salespeople sell on price. Unempathetic sales people can’t forecast. Unempathetic salespeople can’t sell as well as empathetic salespeople.
Can you feel what I’m sayin’?