“I know what your going through, I lived it with Katrina”.
My client’s words of comfort automatically calmed me down and said to me it’s okay, sometimes the world works this way.
He said this to me as I was introducing an upcoming training we are planning together and I realized the adage “People buy people first and product second” works, in fact, it never fails. As a sales trainer and executive development coach increasingly I adhere to this adage.
Listening is Empathy
It’s essential to listen and understand your client before you offer any solution to them. I realized last week the courage it takes to genuinely draw someone out to understand what they are dealing with before I offer/put forth my agenda. The impact of Hurricane Sandy was not felt by the buildings, the subways, the roads….it was felt by the people. And while the images of the destruction in my beloved city were impactful, it was hearing the individual stories, both of struggle and triumph, that will live with me forever.
I remember my Father as he made his rounds throughout the hospital listening so intently to his patients that a bomb could go off in the room and he wouldn’t have heard it, he was that intent on listening and understanding what his patients were going through.
I do my best to carry his empathy forward with my clients. It is important that I know their stories, know their struggle and their triumphs, before I can recommend their next steps. I recommend you do the same. It’s the only way I know to mix a storm with business.
It is not my normal practice to ask anyone to donate to any cause. And I’m not doing that now. I will, however, provide a link here to the Mayor’s Fund in the event that you are looking for a way to help people in New York get through this terribly difficult time.