Engaged buyers want to buy, so you need to use every tool at your disposal.
Engaged buyers become customers. Engaged customers buy more. A professional salesperson knows the process. Plus, a great salesperson can connect on a deeper level with the customer. The best sales people follow a process, connect with the customer and provide challenging insights that solve customers’ problems as well as help them achieve next level growth.
When connection and trust are built on empathy, engagement increases. Here's how to use curiosity to build that.
Problem: Customer engagement is going down.
David Brock recently discussed this major problem in sales today. “We replace deep interactions with a few for higher volumes of superficial interactions with many. Ironically, those higher volumes don’t produce more. They don’t improve employee of customer satisfaction. They don’t improve our ability to engage. They don’t improve our ability to solve problems, to learn, to grow. They don’t produce results – either for our organizations or our customers.”
Customer engagement is going down because our interactions are not meaningful. This change could have a lasting impact on business growth.
Solution: Emotional intelligence, when applied ethically, helps us develop deeper connections which in turn help everyone to be more engaged.
Daniel Goleman says, “When it comes to sales the difference in types of empathy matter. Cognitive empathy lets us understand how a person thinks, and so lets us talk in ways they understand – but this can become manipulation, especially in high-pressure sales tactics. While this may make a sale, it loses the customer.
The top sales people, though, apply a different approach: empathic concern, where you sense and care about the person’s needs. Rather than persuade someone to buy the wrong thing, these sales stars make sure they match the customer’s needs to what they offer – and may even send them elsewhere if need be. This builds a lasting relationship of trust – and a customer who returns again and again.”
True empathy in sales can lead to deeper interactions. If the salesperson fails to build trust through empathy with the customer, the likelihood of partnership is low. Empathy is a key factor in the ability to connect. Connection creates sales. Therefore, the more frequent the practice of empathy, the more long-term partnerships will be created.
The solution is simple, build deeper connections and your engagement will go up. The process is also simple, just harder to apply. To increase engagement, the salesperson must use emotional intelligence to build trust by following this four step process:
- Awareness of the emotions of the buyer – This is the basis for emotional intelligence. All empathy starts with the ability to recognize emotions. Your own, and those of others. Sales is a transfer of emotions. The buyer needs to believe. Before belief comes many other emotions. You can’t help them if you don’t know what they are feeling.
- Define and map which emotions are driving each concern or objection – Some emotions are more important than others. When a buyer is objecting, they are doing for a reason. Find that reason. Are they sad, mad, angry, hurt? Their emotion is more important than the actual objection. If they are happy about the objection, then the objection is just a cover. If they are frustrated, then it means they really want to find a solution. Find the emotion and you will find the reason. This is where you need to ask more questions.
- Find hidden emotional needs of the buyer – This goes beyond the corporate need. What will this purchase do for the buyer on a personal level? Find that driving force. The solution to finding any need lies in the ability to understand what is real and what is fake. They only way to do this is if the buyer is talking. This is where you need to ask even more questions.
- Use empathy to connect the emotional drivers with your own personal experience – Share stories; your own stories and the stories of your successful clients. Stories create meaningful connection and bridge emotions.
Each of these actions is driven by curiosity. The secret to developing better interactions is by being truly curious about the other person. When you are curious you begin to care. People know when you care about them. When true care is felt, trust opens and relationships are built. Once the trust is in place then the insights and consultation to solve problems can truly be embraced. Embracing new ideas is where engagement really begins.
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