"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."- Mya Angelou
According to Dr. Mark Ingwer, the author of Empathetic Marketing, understanding consumers core emotional needs will help you grow your business and develop loyal customers. Empathetic marketing means to make your clients feel like they are worth more than a dollar sign. It also means you are willing to go the extra mile, even when it is not necessary. If you want to become an empathetic marketer, it requires you to demonstrate your ability to build an emotional connection with your clients and show them that you care. As a result, your clients will feel like you value them as individuals, as well as, the relationship you developed with them.
Gary Vaynerchuk has a powerful story about empathetic marketing, which inspired me to write this article. For Gary, "the best marketing strategy" is to care. Gary shared a story about how it took him 2.5hrs, during a snowstorm, to deliver a package for a customer that was worth $45.00 while his company was making about $40,000 an hour. Although the customer did not express appreciation for his extra efforts, this experience helped his company establish its competitive edge. According to Gary, “when you give more than you take you have leverage for life”. When you invest so much in others, you can expect to get more than what you want when you need it. In business you will get what you put in. Sowing good seeds as an entrepreneur, will eventually bring you dividends.
Be willing to go the extra mile even whether or not you will receive a return on your investment. Do the right thing when no one is watching. Be kind when it is difficult. This is how you build a solid reputation for your business and strengthen your brand. When your clients know that you care, they are usually eager to do repeat business with you or will recommend new clients.
My beloved and late mother, who passed away in 2016, was the queen of empathetic marketing. She truly understood the power of investing in people. As an innate nurturer with a heart of gold, who was the CEO of a tutoring business, she consistently showered her clients with advice, compassion and empathy. As a result, her business grew based on referrals, not traditional marketing or advertising. She also produced excellent results for her clients and built a solid reputation. My mother had a loyal clientele that most entrepreneurs crave.
In a society where there are so many people who care about themselves and how they can use others to get ahead, it is very refreshing to find an entrepreneur whose mission is to help others with no expectations of making a sale. People love to feel validated and appreciated. When your clients know you appreciate them, you will certainly generate repeat business. A great product or service speaks volumes, whether or not the person behind it has empathy, but entrepreneurs with big hearts are trend setters and legacy makers!
People are inspired by business leaders who are courageous and compassionate. The world is waiting for entrepreneurs who have "heart" and are not caught up in solely making profits. The most successful entrepreneurs solve a problem, fill a void in the market place or produce a product that everyday people need.
Empathetic marketing has to be done with balance. It is important to be mindful of people who do not value your business or respect your worth. This can make you vulnerable to those who will consciously or unconsciously take advantage of you. Protect your brand and be selective about who you do business with. If you view kindness as a strength and not a weakness, you will keep pushing forward in spite of a bad client or business deal that went wrong. Mistakes and bad experiences are unavoidable but if you are determined to grow your business, you will overcome common challenges that many entrepreneurs are bound to face.
As long as you maintain a strong work ethic, commit to integrity, compassion and consistency, people will be eager to do business with you. When your product or service is high quality and you have the right business systems in place, making a profit is inevitable! If you desire to make a difference or leave a legacy, consider using empathetic marketing.
By: Stacey Berry , Founder Bstellar Consulting Group
Twitter and Instagram @bstellargroup