Empathy is nothing but an act of putting yourself in others’ shoes and foresee a problem from their point of view.
If you’re serving customers, then empathy is the power of human interaction with your customers.
Being empathetic towards someone doesn’t mean that you completely agree with them. It is to understand their truth. Empathy being an important character trait for salespeople to have; they converse with innumerable customers every day to solve their problems. To make sure they are representing the company in the best way possible.
Empathy: A Valuable Sales Skill
One of the important sales skills that demands a conversation more than anything is Empathy. It’s a vital ingredient for development in work and life by allowing you to develop emotional intelligence at a higher level. Perhaps, it is the most difficult skill to inculcate in sales.
Sales is all about business transactions made at heart level. Here we preach the ways to bring empathy to your Sales team in response to customer relationship building amidst the changing marketplace. Sometimes, it feels like people are not much aware of emotional intelligence and empathy. That it can not only foster customer relationships, but also lend a hand towards humanity in every possible way.
Bringing empathy in your sales discussions serves multiple benefits outlined below:
- It helps in repositioning of thought process as more customer-centric
- It improves the ability to uncover hidden needs and read what is left unsaid
- It helps in creating a judgement-free environment
Also Read: 5 Helpful Tips To Improve Sales For B2B
Need to Develop Empathy
Out of everything, what’s important to sustain your workplace is Empathy. The Center for Leadership surveyed over 6,000 business leaders in 35+ countries and found that the majority agreed that empathy does correlate to job performance and having more empathy leads to better performance.
Good news is that empathy can be learned. One of the important distinctions to be made is between sympathy and empathy. Most often, people confuse these two terms. Sympathy, to be precise is an ability to feel pity for others misfortunes whereas empathy is an ability to understand another person’s feelings. Sympathy can be felt with less connection whereas empathy can be felt for the things that aren’t present.
A useful tactic to focus on Empathy is to give attention to emotional mindfulness and notice emotions that one’s feeling in any given moment. There are some important tactics that you can use to display empathy during the sales conversation:
- To stay silent while another person is talking; as by quietly taking notes in mind can be a great way to show empathy. Because if you’re constantly talking, you’re not able to devote full attention to what the customer is saying.
- To directly ask the person about their thoughts/opinions on something; as it is often helpful to know what the customer thinks and feels. You can also ask multiple questions to draw out some useful information.
- To consider another person’s vocal presence; as when you’re seeking to be empathetic, it’s required to use a calm and neutral tone of voice. When you’re establishing a judgement-free zone, the prospect feels safe to have a conversation.
Here are 7 ways to cultivate empathy back to your Sales team:
1. Recognize other People’s Emotions
Empathy is the ability to share emotional experiences to each other. Some people find it easy observing people and connecting with the other person’s emotions and other people are genetically smart to be empathetic.
For a salesperson, understanding their prospect is a crucial step that helps to deepen their understanding. It helps build an emotional connection that you share in the form of an experience.
The possible way to cultivate this skill is to stop by and recognize what is the other person feeling? Pay attention to their verbal signs and body language. Catch the feeling they convey to you and listen to the words they use. Hear out the indication through their gestures and what is the action expected on that.
2. Assume yourself in their Position
Once you are aware of the other person’s feelings, you require empathy to fill in the gap. It is to say, you need to feel what they are feeling for letting empathy seek in. It doesn’t mean you need to put together their feelings into words as that would be to sympathize, then to empathize.
For a salesperson, this ability helps to create a connection with their customers. Once you build a foundation of trust you lay on the client’s side of the table. In order to cultivate this skill imagine yourself in the client’s position and imagine how you’d feel. This helps in working out sales calls effectively.
3. ‘Listen’ to their Interpretation
The ability to listen is a required state of mind to drive empathy within your sales team. Exercise empathy and emotional intelligence before passing judgements on the facts or literal meaning of what’s said. You are supposed to accept their interpretation as being valid and worthwhile.
In sales, we tend to spend a lot of time trying to change the customer’s minds. Rather rush forward, you should first listen to them and respect their views and opinions. Empathy herewith allows you to suspend the mind chain until you have built a connection to get along their point of view.
For adaptive listening, imagine yourself as a buyer and ask a question to yourself would you mind someone changing your mind? What is that you would believe in? And why would you believe it?
4. Add Emotions to derive an Action
Managers and leaders implement emotional intelligence to drive action. Sales is a department that leads the market. People here are supposed to use emotions with the customers to multiply their actions. It is not enough for salespeople to just enter into the clients’ shoes, but also be able to help clients get out of their shoes as well.
Determine how you can fuse emotions to build the case of change. Make a list of the outcomes possible and elicit a vision that can help make a trade. Imagine what that change would look like? What action would have to be taken? Salespeople who cultivate emotions are most likely to move clients with them.
5. Hone the Empathetic leadership skills
To work across the cultures, leaders need to be empathetic enough to go global. As they need to understand people having different perspectives and experiences. Empathy plays the part in generating interest in and appreciation for others, paving a way to more productive working relationships.
As the managers hone their empathetic leadership skills, they improve leadership effectiveness and increase the chances of success in the job and retaining customers. Leaders who hone their empathetic skills are assets to the organization, as a part, they can effectively build and maintain work and customer relationships i.e. a critical part of leading organizations in the world.
6. Develop Trust to support the idea
Trust plays a major role in the process of developing empathy in the workplace. Employees are challenged to trust each other and their managers daily. When any of them disagree, do they have a sense of trust while they share views? Empathy is involved when people understand despite disagreement without criticising each other.
To cultivate trust learning, the activity where one person stands in the centre of a circle of people and leans back into the arms of each person standing there helps withstand trust. Every participant when experiences the trust lean from both ends is willing to support the formation of trust within.
7. Encourage Problem Solving activities
It is observed that employees develop a sense of isolation in the workplace. They are likely to think that others do not want to help or they might criticize employees with problems. A problem-solving activity can boost team-building spirit and build emotional ability to empathize the needs of customers.
Make small teams gather and have a problem to pose, for group members to describe related issues and welcome the ways each person tried to solve the problem. Later when the group clarifies their understanding of the problem with questions, the person who dictated the problem turns his back to the group. And when he turns around, each person in the group presents their suggestions.
Speaking of empathy being a touchy soft skill, so much more is to be added. Time and time again, it is proven to be a trait that connects people together, builds trust and strong relationships. And those who employ empathy in any professional situation pose to be great collaborators and problem solvers.
With results like customer relationship, sales growth, team building, who wouldn’t want to fuel Empathy in their Sales team? All these 7 ways can help you and your team-teach some critical skills to employ empathy both in and outside of work.