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6th October 2021

Why Empathy is your B2B superpower

Why Empathy is your B2B superpower

Posted by Tracy Corbett-Shipley

Empathy is a bit of a buzzword in sales right now. Sales and marketing teams like Shortlist have been embracing empathy in their approaches since even before the pandemic, opting to provide help to their customers rather than purely trying to make a sale. But what does the ability to understand and share the feelings of another mean in a business context? And what is the impact?

We asked one of our expert Salespeople, Tracy, why she ensures she remains empathetic in her sales role...

"Empathy helps strengthen bonds in your personal relationships, and the same can be said for your business relationships!

When you take the time to understand your prospect's frustrations, concerns and needs, and tailor your response to help them overcome these things in the best way for them, they feel seen and heard. And who doesn't love to feel that? It's also a huge benefit to you as a salesperson too, because the more you understand your prospects, the better you are at your job.

Sales and marketing people are generally not perceived as being empathetic. Why? They're often seen as commission-chasing or not concerned with the true needs of others. But I thought I'd share how I discovered my inner empathy.

A while ago I gave my time freely to help my friend's son several times a week to understand a few maths principles he was struggling with before he sat his exam. Although some days were tough and I wanted to throw the towel in (as he is a typical teenager with the attitude to match), I could empathise with his frustrations as he couldn’t see how he would use most of his maths like mean, median and mode in later life.

But I persevered, and imagine my sense of satisfaction when eventually he got it! He now comes to me for my opinion when he doesn’t understand something, and I'm sure you've experienced the same warm feeling when you suddenly get asked for your input or opinion without prospecting for it.

Now, apply this to business – what impact do you think this will have? Your profitability will skyrocket because people will start to come to you. The old adage is “people buy people”, but what they really do is thank people who have helped them when they needed it."

Our salespeople know that we're living through a time where things are constantly changing, so being able to adapt rapidly and flexibly to the needs of our customers is vital to successful sales. And as the world becomes increasingly more digital, an empathetic and human approach is the key to forming and maintaining successful customer relationships. People don't want to be sold to, they want to be helped. And if you demonstrate that you can see things from their point of view and provide personalised support, they'll come back time and again. 

Data for ABM

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