Empathy is vital for selling, especially during times like these. With all of the upheaval, change and adapting happening, you, the sales rep, can be a calming presence for both prospective customers and current clients, especially if you obtain empathy sales training. CustomerThink’s R.J. Renna emphasizes the importance of showing empathy, pointing out that, for sales reps, this means “understanding what your prospect’s role, needs, and motivators are before you dive into a well-rehearsed sales pitch.”
Renna recognizes that it can be hard to tap into empathy when you are stressed, anxious, unsure, and scrambling to establish a new normal. In addition, not everyone is naturally empathetic. He shares tips to help you find the energy you need to enter into an empathetic mindset.
Empathy While Selling
First, you must value business relationships. To truly prioritize empathy, you need to understand and respect the value of long-term business relationships. “…building relationships is critical,” Renna writes. Establishing a business relationship with a client will help you be successful now, and in the future, even if you or the client shift jobs. “The people and organizations you connect with along the way can often influence your success as you move from job to job,” he explains. “Someone who has bought a product or service from you once and been satisfied is more likely to trust you in the future.” By showing empathy, you are investing in a business relationship for today and the future.
Empathy Sales Training
According to our Voice of the Sales Rep survey, only 36% of sales reps believe that empathy is a key characteristic for success. You may need empathy sales training in order to improve this important soft skill.
How do you know if you need empathy sales training? Take a look at the messages you are sending to prospective customers and current clients. What are the emails' tones? Likely, you will be using digital communications a lot more because of the pandemic, so how do those emails come across? Are they bossy, impersonal or cold? Now is the time to communicate mindfully with empathy. Create messages that are personalized directly to the receiver and address their particular wants, needs and goals. One way to do this is to ask questions. Then actually listen. “Listen actively, Renna suggests. “Paraphrase what you heard, empathize with the issues they voice, and then be patient rather than diving in immediately with a solution.”
These, and Renna’s other tips, will help you tap into your empathy, which is important now more than ever. Ask your manager to give you additional empathy sales training if you're struggling with this aspect of your work. Show the prospect or client that you care, you’re on their side, and you are a trustworthy partner both now and down the road. “Above all, be authentic,” Renna reminds reps. “True empathy cannot be faked…Remember, great relationships are based on trust and customer empathy must be genuine to be valued.”
Sales manager training products are also available from SalesFuel.