Success in business relies on only on thing – how well you can connect with your prospects.
Everything else works of of that fact.
It’s easy when you’re in person with a prospect to connect. You’ve all heard the theory of making eye contact, smiling and mirroring their body language. You may even know how to take an active listening approach to better understand their needs.
However, it’s a completely different story in the digital world. In the fast moving world of AI, endless social media posts, live video & marketing automation the challenges of connecting with people over a screen can be daunting.
Marketing’s goal is to create interest about your product/services to attract customers to your business. So you’re mission is to build connections with prospects on a daily basis but the challenge is doing so in a world that sometimes feels disconnected.
On a daily basis it’s fair to say that 90% of our days are spent in front of a screen. Getting bombarded by message after message through smart phones, computer screens or televisions, the goal of standing out and garnering interest becomes difficult. We’ve turned a corner in marketing where it’s more important make our prospects and customers feel important than it is to tell them how your product/service can help.
Marketing a business is about creating an experience that will deepen the connection with your customers. You can do this by creating empathy that will solidify your relationship with your customers.
If you can learn to tap into this powerful emotion you’ll be able to inspire your prospects to pay attention and motivate them to buy. It’ll be as if you understand what they value, need and want.
Two Types of Empathy (Simplified):
1. Affective Empathy:
Affective empathy is all about feeling another person’s emotions. An example of this is when we see someone cry we get a tears in our eye or the way that laughter is infectious.
2. Cognitive Empathy:
Cognitive empathy is knowing what another person might think, intend, believe or want. This is great to understand for motivational marketing messages. It’s basically looking at things from somebody else’s perspective.
In the digital world you can benefit from both types of empathy to build trust with your customers. Affective empathy will depend on the visuals(internal link) you utilize in your marketing and how they re-enforce your marketing message.
The colors you use on your website, for instance, plays a large part in the emotions your prospective customer feel at a subconscious level. For example, blue commonly evoke trust where red is known to bring a level excitement.
Cognitive empathy is based on how well you know your customers. You can get started with an in depth customer persona based on research. Then you can add surveys to your website or send them out as part of your email marketing newsletter. Finally, you can take a step back and try the good old fashioned tactic of talking with your customers. All of these tactics will help you gain insight into how they might think and who they are.
Once you know what makes your customers empathetic you can use the information to better connect with them. But, knowing is one thing using it correctly is another. Regardless of who we are we could all learn to improve it.
4 Ways to Improve Your Empathy:
Read Read & Read!:
- Reading is your favorite hobby right? If not, you might want to look into picking it up as reading can improve your cognitive empathy. A good writer knows how to build empathy in their stories. Reading good fiction and even non-fiction will help you expand your empathy.
- A communication technique in which you basically repeat what speaker said back to them is known as active listening. The digital way to use active listening is paraphrasing messages when you return answers to your customer question on social media or through email. This will show your customer that you care about their questions.
Listen to Your Mother (Kinda’):
- On of the universal lesson our mother’s taught us when we were children was “to treat people like you would like to be treated.” While this is sound advice, in the marketing world it reads more like “treat others as they would like to be treated.” In every interaction with your customers there are clues in how they expect to be treated. Make them feel like the center of attention and you’ll have a customer for life.
Walk The Mile:
- It’s not enough to just know who your customer is but you really have to get into their heads. Try to look at things the way they would and figure out what makes them do the things they do. Remember, behavior exists because it gets reinforced. Put yourself in your prospective customers shoes to understand their actions & problems.
If you take the time to understand and appreciate what makes your customer’s special your marketing will gain deeper traction in their hearts. And remember, where the heart goes the mind will follow.
Although the market place is filled with an abundance of tools, tricks & techniques that’ll help you spread your message, they won’t get the message through. Marketing is about making a human connection emotionally.
Building relationships with your customers through empathy will ensure your message will be heard by the right people at the right time.