Today we are going to talk about “empathy”. By definition, empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
I know you are thinking you work hard, isn’t it enough for a successful business? The truth is there are a lot of great traits which go into being successful but in my own life, I have found empathy to be the most important quality.
As a social worker in recovery, I was able to relate to the struggles of my clients. I was able to share my strength, hopes and experience. I was able to let them see I had been where they were and had come out of it. I was able to help some kick drugs, leave abusive relationships, overcome homelessness and get employment. Was everyone successful? NO! Some didn’t really want to move forward and weren’t ready to work hard. I find the same thing when working with other direct sellers.
So why is empathy good for business, especially in direct sales?
1. Empathy increases the know/like/trust factor
Regardless of the products you sell, people are more likely to connect with, relate to, and ultimately hire/buy from you. Which of these people would you connect with?
* the person who shares the good, the bad and the ugly of where they were, of their product and offers to help you.
* the person who’s somehow a “natural”.
* the person who doesn’t tell you anything about themselves or their background. The pushy sales type.
I bet you connected with the person who knows your struggle, didn’t you? It’s human nature! We’re more likely to know, like, and trust people who are similar to us. And – as I’m sure you know – we’re more likely to buy from people we know, like, and trust.
2. Empathy shows you have walked the walk
When you can show your clients you’ve been where they are, found a solution, and emerged triumphant, you’re modeling success. You are demonstrating you’re empathetic to their struggles. You are living proof they don’t have to stay stuck where they are! Living proof makes for pretty convincing marketing.
3. Empathy helps your clients/customers/team be more vulnerable with you
When you show them you understand them, you’re helping them feel safe. You’re showing them they can be honest and vulnerable with you. When you say “I get it. I used to be (fill in the blank),” you’re making it easier for them to open up to you. And the more they open up to you, the more you can help them, and the better their results will be.
4. Data without empathy is meaningless
I look at data to see which blog posts people read, which tweets they liked, and what they purchased. But I want to know more. I want to understand why they read the blog post or what problem I helped them solve. It is with this information, we can move forward in our business.
So how can you show more empathy in your business?
- What have you struggled with?
- What hurdles have you overcome in your business?
- And how does this make you uniquely well-qualified to help us overcome something similar?
Whatever your backstory is: share it. Help people to know, like, and trust you. Show them how you can help them overcome what they’re struggling with.
If you don’t know what they are struggling with or how you can help, ASK! They will tell you. It’s hard to empathize when you don’t know what they are struggling with, right?
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!