A Powerful Way to Build Connections

Posted on Aug 23, 2013

Punchstock 173806621Empathic Storytellers close more deals, more quickly.

The object of empathy is understanding – tailoring value propositions to match both the unique needs and wants of the recipient. Understanding allows the Empathic Storyteller to anticipate and proactively eliminate objections. Understanding minimizes competitive alternatives. Understanding improves the alignment between need/want and solution.

The result for sales and business development professionals is a shortened sales cycle, higher close rates, and greater retention. Marketers who are effective Empathic Storytellers see higher net promoter scores, open rates, improved click throughs, and better qualified leads.

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You have to know your audience before you can begin to craft your story and message.

For our purposes, we’re not talking about where they went to school or the ages of their children. We’re talking about understanding – what worries them, what motivates them, what struggles do they have? Understanding allows you to craft your narrative so that it authentically connects with your audience So, how well do you know them?

A little test

Think about an appointment that you have tomorrow. Or, a campaign that you’re about to launch. Some future event in which you need to encourage someone to do something.

Now, take five minutes to jot the following on a piece of paper:

  1. Who they are?
  2. What is their job function? – not just title, but their function in their organization.
  3. What are ten tasks specific to their role? (And, no – generalized activities like “check email” or “attend meetings” do not count.)

Now, review what you have. Did you complete all three questions? Was the test easy or did you struggle with one or more of the elements?

A little exercise

If you struggled at all, don’t worry. All you need is a little practice:

  • Search the web for “A day in the life” articles;
  • Search job boards to find postings for the role;
  • Find the website of a relevant professional trade association.

At the end of the week, repeat the five minute exercise from today. Compare the results to today’s.

This exercise is the first step in creating a persona of your audience. Well-developed personas are a powerful tool to enable empathic storytelling. The next step? Articulating needs relevant to your objective.


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A Powerful Way to Build Connections

by Scott A Livingston time to read: 2 min