How many times do you speak to somebody who's angry, untrusting, uncooperative or otherwise resistant to making a deal? It seems like most sales conversations start with the other side at least hesitating. If only there was a way to get these people to see us as allies, helping them to achieve their dreams. In this episode of The Land.MBA Podcast, we're going to discuss tactical empathy, which when used correctly, is impossible to resist.
Today’s topic contributes towards sales conversations but also how to turn all of those conversations into actual sales! Over the last year or so, we have been talking a lot about Chris Voss, and his book Never Split the Difference. This is a must read! It applies to any type of negotiation, whether you're in the land business or any other business. There's just so many good principles in this book that real estate investors can use both on the buy side and the sell side.
One of the principles that really resonates with me is called tactical empathy. Now, I've always thought about empathy as you know, walking in someone else's shoes for a mile. But what does Chris mean in his book by the term tactical empathy?
I think I had a completely incorrect understanding of the word empathy. I thought it just meant seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. I've come to realize that I can barely see the world through my own eyes. So the chances of me actually seeing it through somebody else's eyes are about next to zilch. I think men in general are particularly bad at this. We're just not as naturally intuitive as women. Women are better at it. Empathy is not being able to necessarily feel what somebody else feels, that's a really hard thing to do. Nor is it about agreeing with somebody else's position. It's simply to be able to understand where the other person is coming from and why they have the position that they have.
So and then once you understand where they're coming from, you really want to go to the next step, which is to validate where they're coming from. And even the validation doesn't mean you agree with it. Their position may be completely delusional. That doesn't matter. What matters is that you're saying I understand where you're coming from and how you got there. Nothing more. It’s not a judgment or agreement or disagreement or anything else, I just understand where you're coming from and how you got there. And if you can understand that, it's a lot easier to show empathy. Whatever they are dealing with be it spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, kids, whatever - there is a deep seated need to be understood. And one of the most frustrating things is when you're talking to somebody else, and they're so intent on telling you their position, they're not investing the time or the effort to understand where you're coming from.
That doesn't mean they have to agree with them. But at least give them the respect to understand where they are coming from and why they have the position that they have. And that's all that empathy means.
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