Maya Angelou, the great American poet, famously wrote: “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. People will never forget how you made them feel.”
This wisdom directly applies to how you sell, and is one of the keys to success in sales overall. There’s no escaping the reality that your ability to influence the choices and decisions of your buyers is ultimately tied to how you make them feel. In other words, what is their experience of you? What are the meaningful ways of connecting with customers?
Instead of consciously focusing on making a human connection, too often sellers consider their buyers as disembodied objects to be manipulated, like a pawn or a knight to be moved around a chess board.
So, how should you make your buyers feel?
When you connect with someone at a human level you make them feel a part of something bigger than themselves. They have become a part of your network. As you deepen your connection with that person, you represent new possibilities to them. Possibilities for wider connection. And for growth.
It’s really very simple. When you are curious and demonstrate a sincere interest in other people, you make them feel interesting. That contributes to their sense of self-worth. Everyone believes they have something of value to offer. If only someone cared to ask. That someone will be you.
When you ask the extra questions to truly comprehend your buyer’s situation, you not only come to understand how they feel. More importantly, you also understand why they feel the way they do. Understanding this context is the key to making people feel understood. And it is the very definition of empathy. In turn, this understanding helps you make better decisions about how to best help the buyer solve their problem.
One of the pillars of building trust is to be open and vulnerable with another person. It was once believed that trust preceded vulnerability. Meaning that we would share our vulnerabilities only with people we trusted. However, newer studies have found that being vulnerable in relationships actually leads to building trust. Therefore, when you share something authentic and real about yourself with a buyer, it’s not just a way to build trust with them. It also makes the other person feel trusted (because you took the risk to share something personal with them.) This mutual trust is one of the keys to building a position of influence with your buyer.
When you share something of value with someone you make them feel valued. If you’re a salesperson and you share an insight with a prospect that helps them better understand the problem they’re trying to solve, that new knowledge will make the prospect feel valued. In addition, armed with this new knowledge the buyer will be perceived as a greater source of value within their own organization. Which can lead to further opportunities for growth in their own career.
In short, the steps you take as a seller to connect on a human level with another person, touches upon most of their most basic human needs, including recognition, connection, understanding, and growth.
Who knew that you had such power?
Bestselling author of Amp Up your Sales and Zero Time Selling, Andy Paul is #8 on LinkedIn’s list of the Top 50 Global Sales Experts to follow. With more than 170,000 followers, Andy is a highly sought-after speaker and sales sage who interviews the world’s foremost sales minds and extraordinarily interesting people to bring you strategies and insights that you can use to generate epic wins and massive value.