If you’re a salesperson, your goal is to close more sales. Simple? Right? Not always, especially if you’re just starting out. One of the main suggestions for how to close more sales is to increase your empathy. In this article, we define empathy and show how it can help you reach sales goals.
Merriam-Webster defines empathy as:
1. the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner (also: the capacity for this) 2. the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it
In brief, empathy is your ability to identify with another person’s feelings along with the capacity to react appropriately.
At this point you may be wondering how to close more sales deals by increasing empathy. Since the root of sales is a series of interactions between people, you should do everything you can to boost your empathy. To assist you, here are several tips to increase empathy and close more sales in the process.
1. Don’t fear small talk
People want to be heard. And most people like to talk about themselves. No matter how badly you want to get to your sales pitch, take time to ask how the person is doing. Ask how their work is going. Ask about their family, their pets, their whatever. It’s okay to simply chat with a customer before launching into your sales pitch or ‘getting down to business.’
2. Be curious
Once you’re past the small talk and it’s time to get down to business, asking good questions is important. Being curious about your customer’s needs builds empathy. However, it also helps you to learn about their needs. After all, if you don’t know what they need, how can you really help them? Work on being curious about what they do and what they need.
3. Put yourself in their shoes
Train yourself to think beyond what you’re trying to sell. As stated above, you should try your best to learn what your customer actually needs. Once you know this, think about how you would respond if the tables were turned. Seeing things from their side of the table makes you a better salesperson and helps you close more sales.
4. Pay attention
Instead of planning the next step of your sales pitch while your customer talks, pay attention. Don’t just hear their words, listen to what they’re saying.
5. Respond genuinely with certain phrasesAs you listen to customers, add in some encouraging phrases such as:
I hear you.
That’s completely understandable.
Yes, I can see what you’re saying
Using these types of phrases is an especially helpful suggestion for how to close more sales over the phone. You show that you know you’re engaged in a conversation with another human being. And you’re having a meaningful interaction which increases your connection with the other person.
As you learn to read people and understand where they’re coming from, it will help you tailor your sales pitches and presentations more individually. Also, instead of merely following a sales script, you develop the capacity to respond appropriately, in the moment.