Once More, With Feeling.

by Doug Weaver on May 8, 2013 at 7:47AM

Once More With FeelingIn discussions with several sellers over the past weeks, I’ve ended up talking with them about the very real strategic value of empathy — of crossing the line and working in the customer’s best interests.  Seemed like the time to re-post these words from June 2010.

During the strategic media sales workshops I often conduct, we always start with a core foundational principle:  Aristotle’s model of persuasion.  To completely over-simplify the idea, Ari believed that three qualities had to be present — and flow in a specific sequence — in order for one human being to persuade another of anything important.  They are Ethos (the sense of empathy and understanding), Pathos (the sense of shared struggle or collaborative journey) and Logos (supporting logic or facts).  Get them out of sequence — say, start with the numbers or logic — and you fail to persuade.  Good stuff, yeah?

This week’s Drift is proudly underwritten by OpenX.  “Optimize Content to Grow Revenue 90%.”  By analyzing two vital elements – digital content value and ad monetization – OpenX Revenue Intelligence helps publishers understand the total revenue potential of every page. Register for the webinar May 16 at 11am PDT to learn how major newspapers are increasing revenue as high as 90%.

Today I want to spend a minute on the first quality of persuasion:  empathy.  It’s occurred to me as we’ve explored this concept over years of workshops that many sales people see it as a tactic.  How can I demonstrate just enough empathy to get them on my side?  To get them to open up to being persuaded? When I sensed question in the air during a recent group session, the answer just seemed jump out all by itself:

Don’t struggle to demonstrate empathy:  Actually empathize.  The easiest way to look like you care is to actually care.

How many of us when we go into a sales situation can honestly say we’re really out to improve the customer’s business?  That we’re out to do right by them?  How often do we set out to truly make a difference?  By my count, only the really great ones do this.   And many more of us need to.  So the  sales message of today’s Drift post is a pretty simple one:

Stop worrying about making the plan.  Obsess instead about making a difference.   Because if you make a difference, you’ll not only make the plan… you’ll be the plan.

Reader Comments (3)

You can follow any follow up comments to this entry through the RSS feed.

  1. Eleanor Angone May 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Doug–thanks for ALWAYS making a difference–I just had a conversation at lunch at how only $$ motivates sales people BUT the really good ones CARE and want to work to help the customer, and as you note, BE the plan!

  2. Len Bilello May 9, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    if your last 6 posts were side A of an LP (record album) , this post would be the track I’d be listening to the most and the one I’d play for all my friends when they came over. Thanks DW.


  1. Marin Says Europe Grows; Millenial Media Gets Programmatic

Leave a Reply

By submitting a comment here you grant The Drift from Upstream a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.