Understanding This Will Instantly Increase Your BusinessApr 12, 2022
What is the single, most impactful ingredient in any prospect interaction that helps to secure more business, more often?
Hint: It begins and, in most if not all, cases ends with this...empathy. Empathy that inspires and demonstrates your authenticity to prospects. Each prospect must see and believe that we understand them and their plight or opportunity as a primer to buying our products or engaging our services. Prospective clients want us to identify with the problems that they want, and often need, to solve as well as opportunities they want to exploit and lever. They want to know that we can provide the objectivity, experience and expertise needed to help them solve their problem or achieve the results they're after.
Empathy is the core essential at the very heart of our relationships with each client struggling to solve a challenge or avoid crisis.
Most people have a deep-rooted aversion, and in some cases a paralyzing fear, of making a mistake in the form of a bad purchase decision. This manifests in the form of doubt, skepticism and apprehension. I see it from time to time when first introduced to a new prospective client, even when it is the result of a warm referral. We all want to avoid mistakes in our business and our lives, but the truth is this...we all make mistakes. It is the human condition. Some of us make more than others, some make the same ones over and over and some of us make smart decisions more regularly than not, but we all make mistakes occasionally. The recognition of the duality of mistakes has served to liberate many of us from the constraints of our own ego and fear of being judged by our mistakes rather than regarded for our ability to learn from them.
The truth is that making mistakes is painful, but can also lead to triumph and discovery.
It reminds me of a scene that played out in my childhood that I often recall during speaking engagements to illustrate this point. When I was in second grade, I had a teacher, let's call her Mrs. D. Each day she would begin class with a math problem on the blackboard for one lucky student to solve, and as a reward for their correct answer, they would receive a piece of candy...a root beer barrel to be specific. And most every day, it was the same routine. Mrs. D would post the problem on the board and the class would all raise their hands and shout for the opportunity to be the hero, solve the problem and receive their just reward.
This day was no different, as Mrs. D scanned the classroom, her eyes fixed their stare on the young boy in the last row. He was literally jumping up and down with excitement, and as she pointed at him, he proceeded to race down the aisle toward Mrs. D like a contestant on "The Price Is Right" game show. As he approached her, oozing with confidence, he literally swiped the piece of chalk from her hand and ran to the blackboard.
The problem read like this 5 + 2 = _______. As he finished writing his answer, he spun around to face the class with a huge grin of satisfaction. But before he could hand the chalk back to the teacher, he was immediately greeted with the shrills and jeers from the rest of the class. He had written his answer...8. In his excitement to solve the problem and claim the reward, he had made a simple error, and the result was ridicule and laughter. Even Mrs. D was chuckling a bit herself.
As this poor kid made his way back to his seat slinking in shame with each step, I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. He was embarrassed and disappointed in himself. Throughout the balance of that school year and the entirety of the next, I don't recall even one instance when he raised his hand again. That experience had affected him a great deal, and the truth is that there are countless examples of similar situations where people young and old alike have felt that same embarrassment and shame
I have learned some valuable lessons throughout my life, and I can honestly say that I am the byproduct of as many good decisions as I am those I'd rather soon forget. But experiences just like the one I shared above have shown me something I consider invaluable. It has helped me to define my true north using empathy and create the fundamental hallmark of my commitment to each client and honor the responsibility that we have to them.
Our goal should always be to empathize, gather and share all of the information, insight and intel needed to develop the very best options and solutions possible for prospects...This is the ultimate confidence booster. It's the basis for getting to "Yes".
When we function to help people escape the mistakes that they so badly want to avoid, we demonstrate value. It makes it easier for a client to agree to move forward with us, because we represent a solution that speaks to their needs and assuages their doubts and fears. When we employ true empathy and objectivity as the basis of our problem-solving in combination with our genuine desire to help people make the very best decisions possible for them...It instills confidence and the results can be magical to witness.
Sandy Cerami is a nationally-recognized Business Expert and Speaker who consults and writes about topics ranging from Sales, Branding and Business Development to Organizational Culture, Leadership and Effective Communication. For more information and free resources and online materials for your business or career click here!