Selling has always been associated with manipulation & coercion.
Pressure tactics & aggression.
Kindness & compassion are adjectives which are rarely used for Sellers.
If this is what you thought earlier, I would be happy to share my perspective on Compassionate Selling, which can change the way Sellers & the business of Selling are perceived.
What is Compassionate Selling?
Compassionate Selling is a Sales approach that focuses on understanding the prospect’s feelings & emotions & selling to the “person” not the “persona”.
It focuses on prioritizing the customer’s needs & desires to interact with them at a human level thereby fostering lasting relationships based on kindness, trust, compassion & empathy.
Compassionate Selling & Empathy Marketing : A Winning Combination
It is a known fact that customers make buying decisions with their hearts. They want to satisfy not only their explicit needs but also their implicit desire to engage with brands they like & trust.
This is where Compassionate Selling & Empathy marketing come into the picture. Both complement each other creating a powerful strategy to foster deep connections & long term relationships.
In our last blog, we had written about Empathy Marketing & how it can build trust & connections.
This blog takes it a step further by articulating how this combination can increase sales revenues & customer loyalty by making them feel valued & understood.
Examples of Compassionate Selling
You walk into a swanky gym & look for membership options. Instead of giving you shiny brochures & talking you through the most expensive options, the sales person makes an effort to understand what your fitness goals & values are.
All this without being pushy or aggressive.
By showing compassion and offering personalized solutions, they build trust and customer loyalty.
You take a cab to office & you are running late. You have an important meeting & are feeling anxious & rushed. You arrive at your destination & find that all digital payment options are not working, you are not carrying cash and there is no ATM close by.
The cab driver senses your anxiety & tells you that you can always pay later. At that moment, he has displayed a deep understanding & empathy for your situation. You are “sold” for life.
Compassionate Selling - examples from my Sales Career of 3 decades
When I was Branch Head of a large branch in one of India’s largest Banks, I used to always ask senior citizens & pregnant women to sit comfortably in my cabin sipping a cup of tea or juice while their paperwork was being taken care of by one of my colleagues.
It saved them the misery of long queues & tiring rounds of several counters.
And, it built lasting relationships which delivered value for the Branch. Over 30% of the branch Fixed deposits were from Seniors & minor children.
There was another time when I was at the customer service desk of my branch & the branch was yet to open for customers. It was 8:15 am & a customer rushed in with a request to withdraw Rs. 15,000 in cash for his ailing father’s operation.
This was nearly 30 years ago when ATM’s were offline & withdrawal limits very low. Since the ATM withdrawal limit was only Rs. 3000, the customer could not withdraw any more cash from his account. We could not check his balance or provide cash by debiting his account as systems were yet to be up for the day.
What was to be done?
The Branch Manager had not yet come in & so I was in charge as Asst. Manager.
I took a call immediately & withdrew Rs. 3000 from my account (the maximum limit). My colleagues did the same & we handed over the cash to him. He thanked us & left. We had no way of knowing whether he would return the funds to us, but thought this was our contribution to saving his father’s life.
A week later, he returns…..
With a cake & a cheque for Rs.12 k.
His father was out of danger & it was a moment of celebration.
But, more importantly we had touched his life & heart with our compassion when he needed it the most.
Needless to add, his father’s Senior citizen Fixed deposit came to our branch soon after.
When Sellers are compassionate & kind , they inspire you to become loyal ambassadors of their products/services. And it results in long term value for both the customer & the business.
Are you a Compassionate Seller?
If you are doing the following things while selling , you are already incorporating Compassionate Selling in your sales approach.
1. Empathetic Listening
2. Proactive probing to uncover implicit/unexpressed problems
3. Not being pushy or manipulative
4. Being honest, respectful & transparent in your conversations
5. Not overcharging to make a quick buck
6. Care more about finding a collaborative solution than closing the deal at any cost
7. Focus on opening a lasting relationship rather than closing the deal
8. Are responsive & available
Benefits of Compassionate Selling
1. Increased sales: Compassionate selling helps build strong customer relationships, leading to increased customer loyalty and repeat business. Happy customers also refer new business to your company, resulting in higher sales revenue.
2. Enhances credibility & brand image: Builds a positive brand image & reputation of your company
3. Improved Customer Satisfaction : Because it focuses on offering personalized solutions, Compassionate Selling creates loyal & satisfied customers who spread positive word of mouth for your company
4. Creates engaged & purposeful sales teams: helps the sales teams to focus on building meaningful relationships with customers resulting in a sense of meaning & purpose in their jobs. This in turn leads to higher job satisfaction & retention.
5. Higher CLV (Customer Lifetime value) : Customers who feel a connection with the brand have a 300 % higher lifetime value.
In conclusion, Compassionate Selling is a customer centric approach that prioritises building lasting relationships based on empathy, compassion, personalisation & trust.
It is a unique sales methodology which benefits both the customers and sales teams resulting in enhanced topline, delighted customers and engaged sales teams.
It enables sales teams to positively impact lives & create lasting value for their customers.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s)
1. What is Compassionate Selling?
Compassionate Selling is a sales approach that focusses on prioritizing the customer’s needs & desires to interact with them at a human level thereby fostering lasting relationships based on kindness, trust,compassion & empathy.
2. Is Compassionate Selling the same as Ethical Selling?
Ethical Selling involves being transparent about price, quality & deliverables with your customer. It focusses on sharing information and ensuring that a company delivers on it’s promises.
Compassionate Selling focusses on building lasting customer relationships based on trust , human connection & an empathetic understanding of the customers needs & desires.
3. Does Compassionate Selling make business sense?
Yes, it does.
Compassionate Selling results in :
· lasting customer relationships with a higher lifetime value
· Engaged & productive teams with a sense of purpose
· Customers who are loyal ambassadors of your brand
Books to refer
1.To Sell is Human : the Surprising Truth about moving others by Daniel H. Pink
2. the Psychology of Selling : Increase your sales Faster & Easier than you ever thought possible by Brian Tracy