In today’s society I sadly see less and less empathy from our world leaders. I’m not even going into more details ‘cause this isn’t the platform for politics. But I’m sure most of you know what I’m talking about.
So setting aside any time-sucking complaint marathon, I dare to say: it’s time to challenge those world leaders and show - us the little ones - that this planet deserves more empathy and it’s actually beneficial in business. The truth is: you won’t be able to build a business and a lasting brand without practicing empathy every day.
YOU ARE NOT WEAK, YOU ARE BRAVE
I’m pretty sure, that you, my fellow creative friend are an empathetic creature. I’m sure, because otherwise you wouldn’t be here. At this point, if you read some of my posts, you know that giving back and building a business for other than just money is important for me.
But I know, that you don’t think empathy is so important for your business. I know that you feel, it makes you look weaker. I must tell you right at the beginning of this post:
Empathy does not make you look weaker. Those who practice empathy every day are the bravest and most successful people and leaders. They are badass heros and you can be one among them.
And this comes from a girl who’s quite emotional. I’m with you in those fears that you won’t look confident and capable enough if you let some teardrops out. I’m the type of girl who cries on Braveheart every time Mel Gibson shouts “Freedom!” and becomes a tear bomb when reads about refugees and their struggles.
Our problem is that we know that empathy makes us human but we are not sure how to actually use it for our (and others’) advantage. This post aims to answer this question and shows you 7 ways to benefit from empathy and compassion in your business.
EMPATHY HELPS YOU SELL MORE
#1 Because you’ll serve the right people and you’ll serve them with compassion
When you practice empathy in your business, it means that you can relate to the people you want to serve. It means that you know their pain points, their dreams, their fears as they were yours. You’ll be able to touch their souls, not just their practical thinking or budget. If you aim for the latter, your customers will jump for the next “more practical and cheaper” solution. If you touch their souls, transform their lives for the better as if your whole existence would depend on it, now that’s when you gain loyal customers for a life.
#2 Because you’ll offer the right services and products
This comes from the fact that with empathy, you’ll be able to understand your customers better. You’ll see their daily life and struggles and you’ll be able to offer services and products that can help them.
Too many companies create products that end up as dust collectors in Walmart or land in garbage bins - don’t follow their example. This world have enough garbage already so create something that solves problems. But for this you have to feel these problems yourself. You have to stop in the crazy rat race and ask yourself - is this product / service is important for the people I want to serve or is it only important for me?
EMPATHY HELPS YOU BECOME AUTHENTIC
#3 Because you’ll choose the right business values
When you practice empathy in your business, it means that you choose values that are about more than just your own success.
As an empathetic leader, if you choose “wealth” as your business value, you know that this wealth is about more than money on your bank account. You’ll use it for training better employees - therefore advancing others’ career. Or you’ll use it to build something that changes millions of lifes. Or you’ll donate for causes that really deserve attention.
You won’t just copy another business in your niche and say “well, they find sustainability important, so my business will stand for sustainability too”. No, you’ll know from your heart what and why you want to create. And when you have to make tough decisions, you’ll know what to do: Does this step really delivers the value you stand for? Does it make other people's lives better? You can only answer these questions genuinely if you practice empathy in your business each and every day!
#4 Because you’ll write, create and share in an authentic way
As I said, empathy helps you relate to your ideal customers so you can serve them better. It also helps you communicate with these people in an authentic way. With the power of empathy, you’ll know more about your ideal customers: their hobbies, favorite TV shows, music, maybe even their pet’s name. Then, you’ll be able to infuse these colorful details into your copywriting, your blog and newsletter topics and social media posts. The more you want to know and understand these people, the better copy you write and the easier it goes.
#5 Because you’ll set your business apart from competition
I know it’s very tempting to copy other business women who already made it. And you certainly can learn from their example. But as there’s no two identical people outside, there’s no two identical businesses either.
Empathy helps you set yourself apart because it keeps you focused on solving your clients’ pain points and your solutions for doing this will be entirely different than your competitor’s solutions.
For a deeper insight on this topic, I recommend you to read the Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée A. Mauborgne.
EMPATHY HELPS YOU MARKET BETTER
#6 Because you’ll make win-win deals
Empathetic leaders want to make deals that are fruitful for both sides. World economy and stock markets prospered when our leaders aimed for mutually beneficial trade deals. And this works on a smaller scale too, just see my example:
I recently moved to a new home and during the lease hunting process, we met Marzia, our wonderful real estate agent. There are soooo many mediocre realtor in the Greater Toronto Area and we had problems with many who just simply didn’t care about their customers. But this didn't happen with Marzia. She was patient, supportive, never pushing us into a deal, even though it’s the landlord who pays her after all. And even though, we are “just renting”, not buying which would mean more money for her. She spent the same amount of time with us that she would spend with a couple buying their multi-million estate. She understood that if she serves us with compassion, she’ll gain loyal customers for a life. And that’s true. When time comes to buy a house, I won’t call anyone but her.
But this is not the end of the story. After she helped us, I sent her a cookbook. She mentioned that she is vegan and loves cooking, so I ordered her one of my favorite vegan cookbooks as a gift. Later, she reached out to ask for my branding services and I offered her a package with extra business cards included.
In other words we built a relationship - a friendship - that lead for a better life and business for both sides.
By the way, if you live in the GTA and would like a knowledgeable fempreneur to manage your property or find your new home, contact Marzia here.
#7 Because your customers will recommend you from their heart
Last but not least - as you can see from my example - you’ll gain customers who recommend you to their friends and family, a.k.a. word of mouth marketing - the best and highest converting marketing technique ever. They will enjoy working with you and using your products because they feel understood, supported and cared for. They will market the hell out of your business whenever they have a chance for it.
NEED MORE INSPIRATION FROM EMPATHY PRACTICING LEADERS?
Do you still think empathy makes you look weaker? I doubt it. I think you see that it turns you into a brave girlboss who deserves admiration. You’ll have business that:
Makes sales while making people happier
Communicate with clear vision and values
Attract new customers with authenticity
Makes life-long friendships and connections
Never run out of inspiration for blog and social posts
Recommended by hard-core, loyal followers
Brings positive social and economical change that’s beneficial for everyone
Now what’s this if not a badass business?
I don’t want you to lose this fierce determination, so here’s the list of my most loved - well known and less known - thought leaders who practice empathy in their business. They’ll keep you inspired and fueled through your entrepreneurial journey:
- Marie Forleo - marieforleo.com
- Mel Robbins - melrobbins.com
- Simon Sinek - startwithwhy.com
- Brené Brown - brenebrown.com
- Nancy Lublin - watch her TED videos
- Amy Porterfield - amyporterfield.com
- Oprah Winfrey - oprah.com
- Tony Robbins - tonyrobbins.com
- April Bowles-Olin - blacksburgbelle.com
- Elon Musk - follow and read him on his Twitter account
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN: HOW ARE YOU GOING TO START USING EMPATHY IN YOUR BUSINESS?
Let me know about the one action you can take right now to start using empathy in you business. Are you going to reach out to clients and ask about their pain points? Are you going to journal about your core values and how they can positively affect others? Share your thoughts in the comment section.