Empathy is defined by the Webster dictionary as “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of another….”. In other words, empathy is when you understand another person whom you know and why they do what they do.
How does empathy apply in your everyday business activities? You must understand the thoughts and beliefs of your prospects, customers, and others with whom you network, your business partners. You do not have to agree with their beliefs and thoughts, but you must understand their beliefs and thoughts and why they have them.
In the past we have discussed that you must discover what your prospects actually need before you market your product or service to them. If they do not need what you offer, you should never sell them what you want to sell to them. If someone doesn’t have a driver’s license, you should not attempt to sell them a car or truck.
It doesn’t matter how great your product or service is, or how reasonable the price is, if they don’t need it, they should not buy it from you unless they plan to gift it to someone else. You should make them aware of your business’s product or service so that your partners can refer business to you, but there should never be pressure applied to them to buy for their needs if those needs do not match what you have.
In addition, if the prospect in question does need what you have for them, you must understand their thought process and beliefs about what they need and why. If they are short of money, do not believe in their need, or something else has happened in their life to impact their needs, you must be aware and attuned to these factors.
If you are involved with the person during your marketing efforts, you should not be surprised by these factors. You must stay in touch with prospects as well as customers and partners, follow up with them on a regular basis, and listen, listen, listen to what they tell you, and what they may not tell you. Your understanding is imperative.
Prospects will not follow through and purchase what you offer unless they believe that you understand how they feel, the why behind their decisions, and what makes them do what they do. You must emphasize with them, understand their thoughts and actions, and make your prospects know that you understand their feelings and beliefs.
Does this same need include your current customers as well as your prospects? Yes, but it also applies to all your networking partners, family, friends, as well as clients and prospects. In addition, you must project this empathy to anyone whom you meet. Remember the need for partners to know, like, and trust you. Empathy will go a long way to establishing those 3 levels of a relationship.
Listen, listen, and listen to everyone whom you meet, want to prospect to, and have as clients and relationships. Establish yourself as someone who emphasizes with others, and you will reap the benefits of being that person. Your comments here, or your emails at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or your calls at 360-314-8691 are welcome.
Discover what others need, try to match them with partners who can solve those needs, especially if it is you, and be a connector for your relationship partners. If you are not listening to and speaking with others, someone else is.