An estimated 306 billion emails were exchanged per day in 2020 (Source). Given such a huge number of emails crowding the inbox, it’s very difficult to get your prospect’s attention unless you work with a well-thought out email marketing strategy.
Thankfully, empathy remains one of the few sureshot ways of improving your email response rates. Here are 5 tips on how to use empathy to improve sales results.
1. Process the info about prospects
Merely identifying what your prospect is looking for, say, a cost-effective accounting software isn’t the same as empathy; there’s a lot more.
To really understand where your prospects are coming from, you’ll have to figure out the aspirations they have, the challenges they face, the constraints they battle, the options they have …
If you’re keen to learn how to get ahead in sales, you’ll need to process information, not merely sit on what your lead enrichment tool tells you. Build a buyer persona, cover them from multiple angles, explore their world.
For example, try and understand what you would do if you were them. Would you postpone buying the software? Would you ask for a trial? Would you ask for on-site support?
The more you process the information you have, the closer you reach to truly understanding your prospects. Empathy in sales is as much of science as it is art.
2. Ask: ‘Would I care for this email?’
You yourself ignore dozens of sales emails – emails sent by salespeople who are trying to sell you something. So why did you ignore those emails?
Maybe they timed it wrong. Maybe they didn’t understand what challenges you’re facing. Maybe they aren’t able to establish their credentials properly. Maybe the email was just too salesy. Maybe you….
You can learn from your own experiences because your prospects also behave pretty much the same way. They also receive countless sales emails from dozens of salespeople like you. They also choose to ignore most of these emails because the timing is wrong or maybe the sender doesn’t understand the prospect’s challenges. Or maybe there’s something with the credentials…
Using empathy in sales emails is a bit like role-play. When you’ve finished the draft of your sales email, ask yourself this question: Would I care for this email if someone else sent this to me?
By asking this one important question, you have got into the shoes of your prospect – which is what empathy is all about.
3. Offer genuine help
When you try to sell something to your prospect, you’re essentially helping them solve a certain problem.
While it’s a nice, profitable way of helping them, it’s not the only one.
Sometimes you can close the deal, many times you can’t. But even for the times you couldn’t crack the deal, you’ve invested a good deal of your time and energy in trying to build that relationship. Should you let it go waste?
You know helping is the new selling. And helping doesn’t have to depend upon whether you could close the deal. Continue being helpful by sharing something you think they’ll find useful.
Here’s a sample email:
I hope you’re all safe!
I came across these two resources and I think you might find them helpful:
- Improving the efficiency of your online meetings (Video)
- Checklist for managing remote teams (PDF)
Feel free to let me know if there’s some way we could help your team.
By keeping the help you offer independent of whether the deal was closed, you pass a strong message to the prospect that you’re genuinely helpful. That builds an element of strong trust in your favor which will benefit you the next time you pitch to them.
4. Remember to emotionally engage with relevant stories
Emotions like fears and desires, pains and ambitions, disappointments and motivations of prospects can prove to be a powerful conduit for effective communication. Using empathy in sales emails lets you connect directly with these emotions.
Anecdotes and stories make the sales process warmer and more humane. Tell about a time where a business turned around through sheer resilience. Share a story of how an organization’s passion for quality saved the day. Describe how strong-willed people were able to bring in remarkable changes. These are the emotional stories we all want to read in these troubled times.
Credible, relevant and clearly worded stories can move the needle. And the more efforts you’ve put into understanding your prospect, the more relevant stories you will be able to share.
5. Gradually build up your sales pitch
Each email you send to your prospect should drive your prospect towards the subsequent stage of your sales funnel. Although the larger goal of each of your emails is to close a sale, the smaller, immediate goal of each email is unique.
In your early emails, you need to establish trust and authority. Talk to them like a consultant does. Help them understand their own challenges and problems with a wider lense. Assist them in looking at the problem in the context of their entire business, not in a narrow sense of just another purchase. Avoid sales talk as far as possible.
Once you’ve been able to bring them to your perspective, get into the sales mode. Help them make the right choices, buy the right plans, purchase the correct versions. Make them feel you have their interest in heart.
Each prospect is unique, their challenges are unique, their resources are unique. Hence, the pace at which you drive them along the sales funnel is different too. And this is something you’ll have to figure out yourself.
Sales and marketing concepts have changed dramatically over the past few decades, but using empathy in sales emails remains a strong, reliable sales strategy today.
Empathy lets you see things from the point of view of your prospects. By processing the information you have about your prospects, asking whether you’d like to read your own email, offering genuine help, connecting with prospects at the emotional level and intelligently building the tempo of your sales efforts are key to success in sales.
What do you think? What are your favorite methods to exhibit empathy in sales emails? Share them with us.