“Empathetic Selling” ©2014 Paul Edgewater All Rights Reserved
the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
noun ( pl. -thies)
1 feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune : they had great sympathy for the flood victims.
• ( one’s sympathies) formal expression of such feelings; condolences : all Tony’s friends joined in sending their sympathies to his widow Jean.
What we are doing here is empathizing with the consumer not sympathizing.
It has been said that if we can see the world from John Q. Public’s eyes, we can sell John Q. Public what John Q. Public buys.
Everyone likes to get an education, but no one likes to be schooled. When we are selling, we are educating our prospects. If and when they have concern or an objection to our proposal (erroneous or otherwise), it behooves us to educate them gently. Dale Carnegie taught us that “A person convinced against their will, is of the same opinion still.” Tom Hopkins teaches a great method to address this; it’s called the ‘Feel-Felt-Found” system.
If someone raises a concern, immediately agree with them and tell them, “I know how you feel.” Incidentally, you can say this with conviction because they indeed shared their concern with you, ergo you know how they feel. This works because it takes the ‘fight’ out of the prospect. The last thing they expect a salesperson to do is not throw a clever rebuttal back at them. It also shows them that you are listening to them and acknowledging their concern as valid. We then follow up with something akin to, “most folks I speak with have felt the same way.” This lets the prospect know that they are not the only ones with this concern. The last part of this equation is to preface your response with, “But what we have found is…” and here you can list all the reasons why your prospect need not be concerned. Take special note of the word “we” in:
“But what we have found is…”
If you say instead:
“But what I have found is…”
…your prospect will still feel as if they are being schooled. Present your facts as if your are both on the journey of discovery together and that you’re not preaching to them from on high.
If you skip the ‘Feel-Felt-Found’ method and go right into your rebuttal, it’s going to feel like a game of ping-pong to your prospect. They will think you have a ‘canned response’ for everything they say and you’ll lose them. The ‘Feel-Felt-Found method gives you an opportunity to really hear them and give them the best solution for their needs and wants, which is what selling really is all about.