SaaS Sales Discovery and Demoing with Empathy is an expose of sales tactics that masquerade as empathy. Are you hooked on a feeling? Are you overdoing it on what you think are empathy discovery questions? We discuss discovery with empathy in its’ pure form, where you conduct discovery in language that a prospect understands, with consent to sell to them, which is the understanding that you know and they know you know, you are both there to solve a problem. This problem solving will involve a pitch and a response. If you are in the state past qualification there is already consent that you are interested in a product and you both know you will be pitching. Here are some common sales tactics that are NOT empathetic, and some that are.
Do you usually lead with the fact that you have a child or other personal relatable detail, that isn’t really necessary, but that usually gets a reaction from someone? While it might feel like you are being vulnerable by sharing a personal detail, it is actually manipulating a common emotion. You may be trying to relate on a personal level, but you are not really there yet, if you are supposed to be pitching.
When you are both on a call to deliver a pitch, or do a demo, or run discovery, positing personal information so someone will have a momentary favorable reaction is a micro manipulation. It is not empathic. Even if you follow up with do you have kids? Again, manipulative. Instead, use the normal questions, how is your day so far, how was the last discussion with colleagues, is there anything top of mind you want to go over? Ask about a present state. Stay in the present.
Current Events Commentary
This is also a habit of kicking things off prior to getting to the point of a call or meeting. What is your take on what is happening in the world. Again, not empathy. This is some small talk and small talk can go either way. It is not a good idea to use this as a point of connection, unless it is related directly to something the audience and yourself can readily observe. Objective commentary can be empathetic. Here is an example. It is raining cats and dogs outside, I hope everyone remembered to roll up their windows. Can everyone hear me? Is this xyz distracting anyone? The key is to get everyone on the same level. If you are discussing current events, you have no idea where someone stands regarding an event or situation. This is especially true for 2020.
Appealing to Common Problems
If your product solves a problem that most of your clients have, you still should not assume they have it and not bring it up without their consent. Always let your client lead with problems. That is the ticket to your sale, discovery, and empathy. When you ask questions to get on a clients level, you are really hoping to gain enough trust that they will open up about the real problems they face as an organization. In each conversation, problems are going to be different. If you are in a demo situation for example, leading with what you think is a common problem can put new audience members on the defensive, because those aren’t their problems.
This is a big one in discovery and demos. We see a lot of demoers and SEs leading with problems that are assumed and then without gaining trust, assuming and explaining a solution as the integral part of their sale. Not empathy. Gain trust first make objective conversation, ask about process, ask about roles, and then you continue to ask questions until they are ready to discuss why they are interested in your products and what features really would benefit them.
SaaS Sales Discovery and Demoing with Empathy
We may have just laid bare some of the go to techniques for warming up meetings and how to address your audiences. The reality of using leading discovery and demoing with empathy is that you cannot prepare in advance, beyond studying closely what you know about the audience and applying it to the materials you will present, but in the actual discovery and demo, you have to be absolutely present. Read non verbal communications such as microexpressions and macroexpressions, ask questions when you are looking for information, and connect with your audience based on objective present circumstances and relating to your purpose of connection.
It is natural to want to connect with an audience, but sharing information out of context can do more harm than good. We hope you found Hooked on a Feeling? SaaS Sales Discovery and Demoing with Empathy useful and if you are looking for more of this type of content, personalized for your team, let’s chat!