How to Develop Empathy with Your Prospects

When it comes down to selling, having empathy is one of the most important skills to have if you want to increase sales and build better relationships with your customers. Developing empathy will give you a better understanding of your customers’ needs, their motivations behind using your products and services, and the way they want to be treated by you and your company.

This is a surefire way to improve your business relationships and provide your customers with top-quality service. As a result, you will be able to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and treat their problems and concerns with less stress. Here are some important steps to follow if you wish to develop empathy with your customers and increase your sales.

1. Talk to Your Customers the Right Way

Speaking to your customers the right way is the very first thing you need to do in order to start developing empathy. This starts with way you first approach them during conversation. One of the most basic things you can do to become closer to your customers is by using the right phases.

These phrases bring more emotion into the way that you speak and it will help your customers  know that you are taking them seriously. Examples of such phrases are:

  • “I understand you must be confused as…”
  • “I’m really sorry to hear that…”
  • “If I were in your position…”
  • “I am happy to help you with…”

Using phrases like these are a great way to make connections with your customers and help them feel more secure about the services they are receiving. Talk to them the right way and you will be able to win them over, even if you make a mistake.

2. Put Yourself in Their Position

Sometimes, companies can’t empathize with how a customer feels about mistakes. Instead of putting themselves in the customer’s position, they tend to be defensive and act in a way that doesn’t show empathy.

Next time you come across a complaint - put yourself in the customer’s position.  Try and think of how they must be feeling. In reality, you don’t have to actually feel upset. What you should do though is let them know you understand.

A reassuring phrase will let them feel safe and it will help you make a connection with them based on understanding and trust. You can try working on this skill through phone calls and everyday interactions with customers.

3. Always Listen Carefully

Showing someone they have your full attention when they speak is a very important skill and is closely tied with developing empathy with your prospects. Giving someone your attention will show them that you are taking the time to understand them and analyze their problems as if they were your own.

A customer wants to know their problems are taken seriously. You can achieve that very easily. One trick is to repeat what the customer is saying in order to show them that you are paying close attention.

4. Ask for Feedback

“Whether it is in the middle or ending of your conversation, asking for feedback from your customers will show them once more that you care about the way you treat them and the services you provide them with”, says HR manager for PickWriters.

A simple question you can use is “How am I doing with meeting your needs?” A simple phrase like this will not only help you improve your quality of services, but will also help you build a closer relationship with your customer.

Feedback should always be viewed as a way to improve the way you work and it will show empathy from your side.

5. Be Respectful Even If You Don’t Agree

In some encounters with your customers, you will have to bite your tongue and not say what you really think as it can hurt your company’s reputation. No matter how disrespectful a customer is, you should always be respectful.

Even if a conversation is good and productive, you should always stay professional and not talk to them too casually. Try to never talk over a customer or insult them in any way. Being polite and respectful will keep your reputation unharmed.

6. Don’t Assume Things

Making assumptions can really harm your relationship with customers. If you don’t pay close attention to what they’re saying and start assuming, you will end up frustrating them and not actually providing them with the best services you could.

Give them the time to speak and listen closely to what they have to say. You might be able to find an easy solution to their problems. Being respectful and paying attention to them will increase their trust in you and your services.

7. Be Positive

Reassuring your clients is always helpful when you’re trying to develop empathy. One of the best things you can do in order to achieve this is to use positive statements whenever you are speaking to them. For example, if they have a problem with the address they provided for an order, let them know that you can easily fix it and that it’s not a big problem.

In many cases, customers feel shy about contacting support about any sort of issue. Even if they are visibly upset about a problem from your perspective, your positivity and eagerness to help will be reassuring and will let them know you can handle their problem with ease.

Developing a Close Relationship With Your Customers

Empathy is helpful in every professional relationship. The more you show the other person that you are happy to help them, that you understand their problems and that you are respectful no matter what, the more at ease they will feel about using your services.

No matter the reason a prospect contacts you, always stay professional and treat them with the same level of respect. There is no better way to get a person to become a customer, or convert a one-time customer to a repeat customer, than by showing them that you will support and respect them at any time.


Author Bio: Elisa Abbott is a freelancer whose passion lies in creative writing. She completed a degree in Computer Science and writes about ways to apply machine learning to deal with complex issues. Insights on education, helpful tools and valuable university experiences – she has got you covered;)

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