If you are a salesperson, marketer, or business leader, you probably have extraordinary gifts for tuning into people, assessing their hopes and fears, and inspiring them to take action by buying a product or service. However, you may be missing out on opportunities to use your gifts for even greater good.
By marketing with heart and selling with soul, you will not only expand your success – you will also give others what they desire most in the world: authentic human connection.
1. Focus on Feelings
People don’t pay for products and services – they pay for feelings. If your product helps them feel good, they will buy it. If it prevents them from feeling bad, they will buy it.
Therefore, an important question to consider is: How do you want your product or service to make your customers feel? How do you want them to feel in their interactions with you? When clients and customers feel good with you, they trust you and will remain loyal to you.
Also, how do you want to feel in your interactions with customers and clients? How you feel is just as important as how they feel because it’s vital that you are as happy as you want your clients to be! Once you identify how you want to feel in your relationships with your clients, you will attract more of them to you.
As Maya Angelou said, "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Therefore, focus on feelings – theirs and yours.
2. Listen & Empathize
Ernest Hemingway once said, “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”
One of the greatest human desires is to feel heard and understood. Therefore, listening is one of the greatest gifts one human being can give to another. It lets them know that you value their presence and perspective. Also, only by listening can you fully understand what your client desires and, in turn, identify how your product or service can help them achieve their goals.
Empathy magnifies the impact of listening. Mohsin Hamid describes empathy as “finding echoes of another person in yourself.” When you empathize with your clients' needs and struggles, they become calmer and more receptive, which enables them to hear what you have to offer.
As Alfred Brendel observed, “The word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent’.” So stop selling and start listening.
3. Connect & Care
Whether it’s herbal tea or coaching programs or farm equipment, whatever you are marketing is more than a service or product – it is a vehicle for human connection.
As a salesperson, marketer, or business leader, you are probably extremely attuned to people’s needs and desires. However, many use these gifts to trick prospects into purchasing their service or product. It’s no surprise, then, why most people dislike salespeople and marketers!
No one wants to be manipulated or coerced. No one wants to be treated as a dollar-sign. No one wants to be seen as part of a “sales goal”, a “demographic”, or a “target market”. We want to be valued as individuals. We want to be cared for as human beings.
Connection is the deepest of human desires. When you see your service or product as a vehicle for connection and care, your sales and marketing becomes imbued with whole new levels of meaning and purpose.
As Theodore Roosevelt said, “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” So stop convincing your prospective customers and start caring about them.
4. Be Honest & Authentic
People easily sense inauthenticity. They can tell when you’re pretending to care but don’t. Therefore, none of the above can be faked. They must be expressed honestly and authentically, or else you risk betraying your most precious commodity: trust.
Marketing with heart and selling with soul are not accomplished simply by applying these as techniques and strategies. You must be all of the above. You must embody these qualities from a place deep within you.
How? By connecting first and foremost with yourself. You cannot give others what you have not already given yourself. Therefore, be present with your feelings so you can be present with others’. Listen to and empathize with how you feel so can authentically empathize with others. Connect with and care for yourself so you can easily connect with and care about others.
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” ~ Carl Jung
When you listen to, empathize with, and care about your prospects, they not only become customers – they also become friends. You will also not only satisfy their desire for human connection – you will satisfy your own.
(This article was originally published in Apunte Empresarial, published by OleWow in Cali, Colombia.)