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Do you just turn on the


   faucet and ooze appeal?   


     I left a post at my Twitter friend Doyle Slayton’s excellent (and provocative) site for salespeople about the importance of empathy in sales. 

     We’ve discussed it here a few times, but the fact remains that too few of us go through our days without really stopping long enough to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. 

     So what, you say?  So this: When you can take the time and trouble (and it does take longer, and it can prompt considerable effort) to really try to understand and genuinely appreciate the circumstances of a prospect, you will be making more than one sale; you will be selling the dozens of others this one individual tells about your ability to be empathetic.

     The loyal customer you create may never actually use the word empathy to describe you.  How “nice” you were, or how”easy it was to talk” with you, or “how straightforward” or “down-to-earth” or “engaging” –even “charming”–  you were, may be the terms of choice.  But they add up to the same thing.

     How do you earn these credits?  Do you just turn on the faucet and ooze appeal?  Hardly.  Having others appreciate the way you deal with them and the sense of authenticity you put across, comes –no matter how instinctively pleasant you may be– from conscious preparation and hard work.

     It means that you are careful to exercise proactive listening skills, for example, to ask questions about what interests the other person and not you, for example . . . and listen carefully and attentively to the answers without interrupting, for yet another example. 

     The rule of thumb is to talk 20% of the time and listen 80% of the time.  A guideline that works equally well, by the way, in sales as well as relationships and, especially in dealing with children and aging parents. 

     Most nurses are exceptionally skilled at practicing empathy!

     In healthcare (where unfortunately many professionals flip the percentages and talk 80% of the time), it’s called having good bedside manners.  And how many people do you know who prefer to weigh bedside manners above even training and experience when it comes to choosing a doctor, dentist, nurse, physical therapist, occupational or speech therapist, psychotherapist, psychologist, or veterinarian?

     I’m not suggesting bedside manners should replace professional training and experience.  I am advocating that better healthcare results occur when good bedside manners can supplement good training and experience. 

     Isn’t it that you want these professionals to appreciate your unique circumstances so they understand and respect you as an individual vs. lumping you together with all other broken bones, teeth fillings, muscle weaknesses, swallowing problems, brain and emotional problems, and dog-parents? 

     It’s a pleasure to deal with bedside-mannered healthcare professionals, and courteous, respectful salespeople.  Genuineness as a human being is the secret ingredient.  halalpiar

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