The importance of empathy in sales cannot be understated (it can be a game-changer)

The importance of empathy in sales cannot be understated. So, here’s my three steps to being a highly empathic business.


I call today’s idea the empathetic business hack.

Two days ago my P-Plater son ran the oil dry in his car. Not pretty. A quick diagnosis by the roadside mechanic suggested that he’d need a new engine. Guessing a new engine wasn’t going to be cheap, my anxiety levels started to peak.

My self talk went something like “Be cool, Timbo. Be cool. Just ring an engine specialist and they’ll calmly walk you through what needs doing. Knowledge is king, right?!”

So that’s exactly what I did. But instead of putting me at ease, not only did he lack any hint of personality, he hit me with a barrage of technical questions – “What’s the VIN number? What’s the engine size? What oil were you using?”

He paid no regard for how I was feeling … so I paid no regard for him, and moved on.

My point? Businesses that show empathy for how a customer is feeling will maximise their chances of getting the sale.

So, here’s my 3-steps to being an empathetic business:

  1. Truly understand the importance of this concept. Don’t pay it lip service … instead, spend some time respecting the power of empathy in business.
  2. Run a workshop with your staff where you identify all the different emotions a customer may be feeling when dealing with you. For example, if you’re a travel agent, some customers may be excited, others confused, some nervous.
  3. Make sure all customer-facing staff are clear on how to treat different customers based on their different emotional states.

Pro-Tip: When you first meet your customer, don’t be afraid to ask how they’re feeling about their impending purchase. This is particularly effective for more high involvement purchases.

That’s my 3-steps to closing more sales by being a more empathetic business.

To help you bring this low-cost marketing idea to life, here’s some additional resources:

6 habits of highly empathic people

5 tips to becoming more empathetic

As always, you’ll find more marketing inspiration in my popular marketing text The Boomerang Effect.

So, what have you got to lose?




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