9 Tips for Empathy-Led Sales

If selling doesn’t come naturally to you, it can seem like an impossible mountain to climb to try and sell more printing.

But there’s good news.

The best salespeople are the ones who are solely focused on helping others. If you can shift your mindset and learn empathy for your audience, you’ll be well on your way to not only growing sales but growing relationships as well.

Here are nine ways you can change your sales mindset to be empathy-minded:

1. Change Your Goal

Instead of putting your focus exclusively on making a sale, work towards evaluating if there is a good fit between what you’re offering and what your buyer needs.

Look past the numbers, past your bottom line and, instead, learn what your audience is thinking to determine whether any products or solutions you offer will solve their pain points and be a good fit.

Takeaway: Don’t assume others should buy what you have. Aim to connect with them and not force or persuade them for your own gain.

2. Ditch the Pitch

Ever been to a meeting where the other person only talks about themselves? Yeah, no one enjoys that.

The same idea applies to sales. Instead of putting the focus on you and talking about all of the features and benefits your business provides, help your prospect solve their problem. Donald Miller of StoryBrand often makes this point when teaching how to position your brand as a trustworthy guide,

“You are not the hero of your brand’s story. Your customer is.”

Takeaway: Be a helper, not a pitcher.

3. Focus on the Starting Line

You’re not running a race; you’re building relationships.

Be sensitive to steamrolling prospects because you’re overly concerned about the finish line. The truth is, the success of the early interactions you have with your prospects will make the most impact on how the relationship continues. Remember to keep your mindset in the present moment and avoid pushing forward for the sale.

Takeaway: Put your focus on the beginning, not on the end.

4. Avoid the Chase

If someone is chasing you, what’s your natural reaction?

It’s highly likely that if someone is chasing you uninvited, you’ll high-tail it out of there and run for your life! It’s this idea that has given sales a bad name. Consumers today don’t want a slimy, pushy salesperson. They want to inquire and explore products and services in a pressure-free atmosphere.

Set the tone with equality and mutual respect. This can be as simple as behaving with dignity and integrity.

Takeaway: Strive to be regarded as a helpful human being instead of a typical salesperson.

5. Make Connections

If you’re a task-oriented person, it can be difficult to slow yourself down and focus on the people and connections you’re trying to build.

Remember, though, that it’s those connections that are helping to build trust and loyalty to you and your brand. Instead of setting out determined to plow through your list and make as many sales as you can, shift your mindset to making a genuine connection with each prospect.

Takeaway: Think about and discuss the prospect’s or customer’s issues, not yours, and make it your mission to build connections.

6. Establish Trust

Once you’ve shifted your mindset to making connections instead of making sales, you’ll begin to build real relationships.

Even if you’re not good a math, this sales formula is simple: connections build trust, trust grows relationships, relationships become sales.

Takeaway: Make creating trust with your prospect the primary goal, not making the sale.

7. Clear the Air

When you’re building genuine relationships, it’s not always sunshine and roses.

It’s easy for pressure to build up as you’re both exploring the relationship that comes along with the sales process. Be mindful of this and look for ways to diffuse the tension and pressure the sales process can sometimes bring.

Takeaway: Diffuse any pressure that you sense in the sales process, so you can bring both of you closer to an open and honest conversation.

8. Choose Your Words Wisely

The words you use can make a huge difference in the outcomes of your conversations.

By using phrases like, “would you be open to” instead of “would you be interested in,” you immediately begin to set yourself apart as someone who is patient, open-minded, and willing to listen to the needs and concerns of others.

Takeaway: Choose words and language that moves away from “sales talk.” Instead, use natural language that easily connects with other people.

9. Seek to Understand

No one likes to feel alone or misunderstood.

The best relationships we have are with those people that genuinely understand us for who we are and know where we’re coming from.

By having a deep understanding of the problems and pain points your target audience is experiencing every day, it’ll be easier for you to know and care about their situation and have your prospect or customers feel it.

Takeaway: Seek to understand your prospects’ problems deeply enough that they feel understood by you.

Lastly, remember that empathy doesn’t mean weakness. Empathy is powerful. As Henry Ford says, “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from his angle as well as your own.”