Put Yourself in Your Customers Shoes

I just don’t understand salespeople. There’s one trait they’re all missing. It comes down to empathy. Are you able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes? I know what I want. I know how I want it to be, but the reason VaynerMedia has been so successful is because I haven’t been stubborn about forcing all of my clients, who are $18 billion companies, to do it my way. I’m nothing, you know, me as a brand, as a person, as a human, I’m teeny tiny compared to them. So I have enormous empathy. VaynerMedia is small. 150 million is small. My client Pepsi is huge! You have to have some perspective.

And so I wanted to have this conversation about empathy, about putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. It’s a theme I think you will see me write more on over the next few months. I want to dig deep, and show you who I really am. Beyond the sales and beyond the business. As a human. As someone who really cares.

So as I sit here and think, I have really come to the incredible realization that empathy always wins. That doing the right thing is always the right thing. That deep down, what’s driving me is not the dollars, but the impact. And I’m going to go much more in depth about that part of my truth. It really matters to me.

And so, we need to be empathetic. I know how YOU want it to be. I know when you’re hitting me up for 15 minutes of my time, what you want out of it. But what do I want out of it? What do I get out of it? How am I getting value?

And, that’s what I do 24/7, 365. I check all my wants and needs at the door when I go into sales mode, and that’s the polar opposite of how most of you roll, so that’s why I win.

This article is actually really strategic. It’s an inside look and a 360 reverse of what most other salespeople do. It’s the combination of running the greatest marathon and being massively empathetic. I don’t need to sell right now. I’m patient, and I really give a shit about what you want! It’s why you like me. It’s why this content works. It’s why all these things work, because I care about you. I don’t try to win for myself.

And so, we need to deploy empathy. You think you’re a good salesman? Show me by deploying massive empathy and awareness to the other person’s needs. Have every decision you make be for the benefit of your client. Really try to understand what they want.

They’re not stupid. They do understand something. That’s why they’ve chosen to do business with you. They don’t get it the way you want it, cause usually it’s for you. They get it the way they want it because they are thinking of themselves!

So when you are trying to make a sale, consider what they actually need. Consider how they actually think. Are they a 70 year old conglomerate that has never done social? Are they more comfortable spending on banner ads? How can you have the best of both worlds? How can you become empathetic and understanding of their POV?

Do you really know their business? Do you really have any idea what this campaign means to them? Do you really know that if this ad doesn’t convert, the CMO is going to get fired? Or that the company will lose millions of dollars or that the five other companies the CEO is friends with will never do business with you? You have to be massively empathetic. You don’t know!!… And unless you are coming from a genuine place of wanting to help someone, you are going to lose.

If you are able to have that conversation, you might actually convert. If you can put yourself in their shoes and understand their perspective, you might actually have a chance to sell. Even though you don’t want to do banner ads, you have to start somewhere. You have to have that conversation and empathize with their POV. Then you can explain your perspective and show them why you think it is better. It’s a constant conversation.

It’s the same thing that goes for my fans. All of you are trying to sell me right now in the comments on Insta. I know what YOU want, but what do I get out of it?

If you really want something, you need to reverse engineer your customers’ needs. You have to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It’s the only way.

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