Sales = Communication + Empathy

Jun 5, 2014 | Business

I just listed to the latest Stone Talk podcast interview, and I learned a new perspective about sales that really rings true for me.

Sales isn’t about being aggressive or obnoxious, or any of the other stereotypes about salespeople. It’s really just 2 things. Empathy for your customer, and great communication.

I think about our own business, and I feel like we’ve got the communication part down pretty well (there’s always room for improvement) because we have a well-defined process that we use daily and practice frequently.

But empathy doesn’t come naturally to me.

lumina empathyIf you think you’re low on the empathy scale… well, I’m lower.

Earlier this year, everyone at our company did a psychographic survey. One of the results… on a scale of 1-100, I have 5% empathy. But, I’m very results-oriented, and I realize that having happy customers leads to business success.

So how do we cultivate empathy?

One of the ways is to actually experience what your customer is experiencing. That’s one of the reasons use our own software – hopefully, we see what works well, and more importantly, what doesn’t.

In the interview, Liz mentioned that one of tricks they used in the past is to have every new customer service rep at their countertop company “rip out their kitchen”. After working with grumpy homeowners on a daily basis, it’s easy to forget how painful and disruptive construction in your house can be. Having that shared experience gives you a ton of understanding and empathy.

Communication is the key

With every countertop project, there will be problems. It’s important to make sure you set the expectations with the customer, explain how the process will work, and finally do the things you say you’re going to do.

Most homeowners have such a low expectation of construction subcontractors that if you’re a countertop fabricator who shows up when you say you will and build something that’s like what you promised, they’ll be delighted.

What steps do you take to ensure empathy and communication?

Want to know more? At Moraware, we make software for countertop fabricators. CounterGo is countertop drawing, layout, and estimating software. JobTracker is scheduling software that helps you eliminate the time you waste looking for job folders. RemnantSwap is a free place to buy and sell granite remnants with fabricators near you.