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Selling IT Changes with Empathy

Monday, 14 Nov 2016


Why it doesn’t have to come naturally.

When IT products or services are ‘grandfathered’, reach their end-of-life or are superseded by new versions, some customers may be anxious or apprehensive of the change ahead.

This can be true even if a new version or new features were developed collaboratively with a subset of customers: not everyone will be pleased with a new outcome.

But according to Seung Chan Lim (‘Slim’), an executive coach with Forks & Bridges, the blow and anxiety levels can be softened by showing a bit of empathy.

And it’s something one can learn to bring into relationships where it perhaps does not exist naturally.

“Most people when they hear the word empathy they immediately think about the idea that empathy is something that happens automatically or involuntarily,” Slim said in an interview on the sidelines of SAP’s TechEd conference in Barcelona.

“You watch a singer sing or an actor act and you just immediately feel that sense of connection or oneness. That is certainly one way in which empathy could be realised but there is also another way where you deliberately practice realising your empathy.

“So if you’ve ever had a friend that you initially didn’t like – maybe you even hated that person, but over time you made an effort to connect with them, and through some trials and ordeals you then actually got close to that person enough so that you become good friends. If you’ve ever had an experience like that you have experienced deliberately realising your empathy such that you can have a more intimate relationship with a person.

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