All posts tagged: empathize

Empathetic Innovation

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Scott's Monday Morning MessageStaffing and recruitment firms who are achieving the fastest growth in margin percentage and dollars are taking their cues from some of the best at innovation: Starbucks, Airbnb, Warby Parker, Patagonia, Kickstarter, and Apple. Instead of bombarding tons of prospects with mundane sales and marketing pitches, hoping to get them to care about their offerings, they are figuring out what matters most to these buyers, then delighting them, one person at a time. This approach, called Empathetic Innovation, can be achieved through the Innovation Equation:

Good or Great
PLUS Irresistible Value
MINUS Labor and Complexity
EQUALS Sustainable Innovation

Starting with what you do that is already good or great, value is added based upon insightful, empathetic understanding of the customer, while reducing the amount of effort and complexity to deliver that service and value. All together, this creates sustainable, meaningful innovation.

Why does this work? The following illustrates why:

What do we mean by empathy in terms of creativity and innovation? For us, it’s the ability to see an experience through another person’s eyes, to recognize why people do what they do. … Gaining empathy can take some time and resourcefulness. But there is nothing like observing the person you’re creating something for to spark new insights. … We’ve found that figuring out what other people actually need is what leads to the most significant innovations. In other words, empathy is a gateway to the better and sometimes surprising insights that can help distinguish your idea or approach. — DAVID KELLEY AND TOM KELLEY, CREATIVE CONFIDENCE

When we empathize, then solutionize (the act of applying innovation based upon why people do what they do), it’s as close as we can get to waving a magic wand, often creating surprising delight for those we serve.

Scott WintripEmpathetic Innovation
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Empathize Then Solutionize

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I’ve just returned from an extended business trip to the Twin Cities of Minnesota where I enjoyed a healthy dose of Minnesota Nice. If you’re unfamiliar with this, it’s a way of being in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The cordiality and devotion that Minnesotans extend to one another, and guests like myself and my wife, is so commonplace that someone just had to give it a name.

Minnesota Nice isn’t just about opening doors or waving people into traffic, it goes much further with their concern, caring, and compassion. People take the time to listen, to understand, and to empathize. I’m not saying that people in other states or countries do not do this; I am acknowledging the degree to which it pervades Minnesotan culture.

How people sell could benefit from the empathizing present in Minnesota Nice, rather than the typical peddling and pushing of products and services. By taking the time to not just hear, but fully understand what buyers are thinking and feeling, salespeople more quickly build rapport while comprehending needs more fully. Acknowledging buyers’ thoughts and feelings, during the course of a conversation, demonstrates caring and concern, setting the stage for sharing solutions that address what they feel and think they need.

Logic makes people think while emotion makes them act. When you empathize and then solutionize, you engage buyers in the collaborative style of selling we practice in Sales Yoga that enrolls buyers in the emotion of buying. People talk themselves in to buying because they feel it’s the right thing to do.

Is that a better way to sell? As they would say in Minnesota, “You Betcha!”


Scott WintripEmpathize Then Solutionize
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