Put Yourself in the Buyer’s Sneakers
Updated: May 30
Leverage Empathy to Build a Strong Sales Team
Think about the steps you take when you buy a pair of sneakers. Something in your world gets your attention and you come to the conclusion: I need a new pair of sneakers. In that process, you remove doubt because you’re actively looking. Then you start to consider your options, lay them out and say, “Jeez, do I really need these? What pair do I want?” Ultimately, you buy a pair. That’s a simple buying process.
With most sales—especially B2B sales—it’s more complex, but the gist is the same: selling is just the buying process, inverted. Sales effectiveness stems from reverse-engineering the buying process to make a sale. But to do that, successful sales talent know they need to exercise empathy. They are able to leverage their EQ by putting themselves in the buyer’s sneakers.
The ability to recognize how others feel is important to success in your life and career. The more skillful you are at discerning the feelings behind others’ signals, the better you can control the signals you send them. An empathetic person excels at:
Service Orientation — anticipating, recognizing, and meeting clients’ needs
Leveraging Diversity — cultivating opportunities through diverse people
Understanding Others — discerning the feelings behind the needs and wants of others
Selling is not the kind of situation you will solve with the force of your personality, no matter how charismatic a salesperson you are. You need to pull the skill of empathy from the sales playbook to get in alignment with what’s in the buyer’s mind, and that requires igniting your EQ.