Traditional advertising is no longer enough to reach a target audience, as it only broadcasts generic adverts to the general public and without any participation from the customer. In order to have a successful business in the modern digital era, a good marketing leader needs to adapt to the new ways of reaching people. Modern marketing and sales involve a two-way communication process, where the client is regarded as a basic source of information to build a strategy, as well as a point of constant interaction during all the phases of the decision-making process.
It has become clear that it is a profitable investment to train and coach professional teams in digital marketing tools and other technologies, and that it is equally important to develop and consolidate their soft skills, specially their empathy and communication, to make the most of these tools and enable them to understand what customers want and need.
For instance, the inbound marketing method focuses on connecting with the customer through empathy and on avoiding saturating clients with huge amounts of information that they don’t need. Instead, one must create personalized advertising content, applying an account-based marketing approach, not only to attract customers but also to help them solve a problem or satisfy a need while awakening good emotions towards the brand.
To build a strong connection with customers, you must have vast technical knowledge about them, so your firm can guide the client towards making the purchase. How can one connect emotionally while offering technical information in the sales process? First, you need to listen your customer, drawing upon social listening tools. This will provide you with a significant part of the information you need to approach them.
Social networks allow a close relationship between companies and their customers.
When reaching an audience, it is necessary to offer information that is regarded by clients as valuable, using a language that they can understand and relate to, an applying an adequate tone through the right channels of communication, in this case, the social platforms in which they are usually active.
Now that we understand why empathy is important in sales and marketing, we are going to dwell into the buyer’s journey. Professionals can create an empathy map to analyze each stage of the costumer’s experience and accompany the customer from the moment a need arises until that need is satisfied. During this journey, it is extremely important to analyze emotions, since it is possible to perceive the true intentions of customers beyond what they pretend to be. We can get a better idea of how they spend their time, the influences that surround them, their friends and environment, the added value they are expecting, and how much they are willing to pay for it. Let’s analyze some basic elements that are needed to build an empathy map:
SEGMENTATION AND HUMANIZATION
First of all, always identify who is your “Buyer Persona”, that archetype of ideal customer for your product or service. During this process you must acquire all the necessary information to build this profile, such as sociodemographic data (age, work, income, and education), lifestyle preferences, psychological patterns, personal and professional conducts and their relationship with your company.
Once you have completed an adequate segmentation, you will have to assign a personality to each segment, with its own name and information. This will create a mental image of a population group, allowing you to better understand it. Understandably, you will only develop a generic image, since each person is unique, but a successful segmentation will allow you to empathize and communicate with your customers in a much more personalized form.
This is the key element in which we rely on in order to build a useful map of our customers’ journey. By answering the 4 questions about our client: what they feel, see, hear, say and do, we will be able to create an empathic marketing strategy. In addition, getting to know their pain points, challenges or needs, will enable your teams to tailor the message and get a higher sense of understanding your customers.
What do they feel? This question encompasses what happens in their mind, what is important to them, their motivations, aspirations and desires.
What do they see and hear? Both aspects are intertwined, encompassing the customer’s surroundings and environment where they interact. Think about their friends, colleagues, family and people who influence them, their situation and the problems they must deal with. Additionally, we need to know which are their channels and means of communication, and more specifically, the social networks they use frequently.
What do they say and do? We must understand how they interact in social networks. Their topics of interest, their ideals and what triggers certain behaviours in them.
Finally, never forget to regularly validate your empathy map, as it will always be changing. Through time you will discover new things and you will be able to correct mistakes. You must update the information periodically and maintain your empathy to analyze and guide your customers through their journey to ensure their satisfaction.
SUGGESTED TOOL: LINKEDIN SALES NAVIGATOR
To successfully achieve all these elements through the buyer’s journey, marketing and sales professionals now have access to powerful tools in order to facilitate most of their daily tasks. LinkedIn Sales Navigator, for example, simplifies the process of social selling by fostering empathy with the potential buyer from the beginning. Being a professional social network, LinkedIn has become an essential platform to generate quality leads. We can obtain real valuable information regarding professional profiles and the scope of the business environment.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator provides a reliable channel of communication with the right audience and allows professionals to manage leads properly. Through LinkedIn, you can search contacts by filtering and combining several criteria such as location, company and sector. This saves huge amounts of time spent in finding the right people. Additionally, you can save searches and receive alerts of new people who meet the same criteria of your saved search.
Another advantage of Sales Navigator is the possibility of sending InMail to people that aren’t necessarily in your network. When it is written appropriately, it usually has a high response rate. Not only can you see all the people who have viewed your profile, but you can also save profiles and create a list of potential customers to analyze them, which will allow you to interact with them and to create a close relationship that will generate a sale in the future.
To take advantage of LinkedIn Sales Navigator, your information and sales preferences must be clearly stated and frequently updated, in order to connect with the kind of profiles and accounts that match with your company´s interests. Eventually, the tool will analyze your own behaviour and will propose potential customers recommendations based on your sales preferences, the searches you perform, the lists you save, and the profiles you visit.
Finally, the use of LinkedIn Ads is highly recommended, not only to generate leads but to boost your brand awareness and generate high-quality segmentation.
Modern times require modern strategies. Learn how to attract your ideal customer by eliciting emotions towards your brand.
Empathy in marketing and sales might not be easy to generate, but eventually it will prove a worthy investment. Learn more about tools like LinkedIn to support you building the strategy that will allow your brand to reach the emotions and feelings of people positioning in their brains and hearts, the main engines of their decision-making.
Keep promoting empathy in your working environment and learn how to apply it in social selling strategies, to build a successful relationship with your clients. Join us in our webinar “Meet the Masters of Social Selling” to learn how experts are consolidating their technical and soft skills through modern marketing and sales.