Serve from Empathy!

by Jun 29, 2020

Serve from Empathy

The new tactical selling approach… there is one…. It’s here.

Ok, so we have had tons of different strategic and tactical selling anchor thoughts over the years. Things like an elevator pitch, the assumptive close, the cradle to grave close, or the overall thought… ABC.. always be closing. While those are a bit dated perhaps here is a list that I just saw published the other day….

10 effective sales closing techniques:

  1. Personalize.
  2. Do your research.
  3. Ask questions.
  4. Embrace technology.
  5. Meet face to face.
  6. Be enthusiastic.
  7. Tell a story.
  8. Get hypothetical.
  9. Offer a “test drive.”
  10. Don’t beat around the bush.

Now, in reality, when you dig a bit into what they were saying about each of these they made pretty good sense. My issue with all of this is that in a statement made in many places of our trade is the concept of “sales closing techniques”. Is that what we are really trying to do? Close the sale?

I believe that approach is ok for the convenience store clerk and the transaction with a few hundred folks a week. But then, maybe not. What if even in that case you were treated like somebody that mattered to them. Would your experience at that moment be better? Might that morph into a better afternoon? Would that little moment where someone cared enough about you to NOT try to close the sale, and instead ACTUALLY look to help you… might that make a difference in your world for that moment and beyond. You bet it would. It’s called the law of reciprocity. Good things do get paid back or on, and typically at a greater level. Great marketing people understand this law very well.

So what… where am I headed? Well, I am here to put a thought on the table for all to consider. And it is this….

I believe that the anchor selling thought, the thing that moves us forward in client engagement. The thing that makes a difference more than all else. And the thing that we can deploy starting tomorrow in our first conversation…is EMPATHY.

From the Greater Good Science Center comes the following…

The term “empathy” is used to describe a wide range of experiences. Emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.

Empathy is the ability to recognize, understand, and share the thoughts and feelings of another person, animal, or fictional character. Developing empathy is crucial for establishing relationships and behaving compassionately. It involves experiencing another person’s point of view, rather than just one’s own, and enables prosocial, or helping behaviors that come from within, rather than being forced.

From Roman Krznaric, he writes…

But what is empathy? It’s the ability to step into the shoes of another person, aiming to understand their feelings and perspectives and to use that understanding to guide our actions. That makes it different from kindness or pity. And don’t confuse it with the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” As George Bernard Shaw pointed out, “Do NOT do unto others as you would have them do unto you—they might have different tastes.” Empathy is about discovering those tastes.

My good friend Hendre Coetzee and Dave Brock have already touched on this in what they have been doing lately. Bless them both. Where this finally sunk into my brain was that this is in fact the new cornerstone for ALL of our selling thinking. Empathy is it. It is everything.

In full support of my simple way of thinking about how we need to proceed as a profession to make a difference with our clients and in the world is…

Care greatly
Understand deeply
Serve endlessly
with Purpose

And we do all of that with an anchor of EMPATHY.


Go have some virtual conversations with your team about what that can look like in your space and the impact that it might have with your clients as they discover that you actually care about them and their challenges.

OK, lets roll!


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