By Deborah Hecker, Ph.D. and Bette Braun, LCSW
In a previous blog Deb and Bette spoke of the importance of an entrepreneur’s ability to effectively work and create with his/her emotions and the emotions of others in order to succeed in business. This fact is particularly important because until the recent past people were told that there was no room in business for emotions. We now know that business and emotions are interrelated and inseparable.
Let’s take a closer look at how emotions play a critical role in your business thinking, communication and behavior.
The Importance Of Understanding Your Customers’ Emotions
Think about a recent purchase or decision you made. Was it logical to buy a more expensive name brand espresso machine that basically makes the same coffee as a more reasonably priced brand does? Or was the purchase motivated by emotion? You know the brand and you know that it has a reputation of being purchased by a higher socioeconomic class of people. One of the main reasons consumers prefer certain brands or become loyal customers is due to emotions.
As an entrepreneur do you only market to the rational side of your customer’s brain by listing the features of the product or service you are selling? Or, do you target your customer’s pain points so that you can improve their lives and help them to feel better?
Even in situations where you believe your decisions are guided purely by logic and rationality, emotions play a key role. Consider how you are interacting and engaging with your customers. Your ability to communicate trust, loyalty, and good feelings is likely to close a deal more quickly and on good terms. On the other hand, poor empathy and not understanding your customer’s emotional needs can block collaboration, resulting in poor outcomes.
Sensum, an organization that gathers and understands consumer data as a way for businesses to develop emotional connections with their customers, wrote the following in an a 2017 website blog:
Not only will customer-experience strategies maximizing emotional connection give them (entrepreneurs) a competitive advantage in their field but it will also result in customers who are six times more likely to combine assets with a firm than customers who are highly satisfied but not emotionally involved.
Look Into The Emotional Mirror
Entrepreneurs need to make emotions their frequent companions, because emotions are at the very center of business.
If you want to develop your capacity to understand your customers’ emotional hot spots, you must first understand the relationship you have with yourself and how you handle your emotions. This is where the work comes in. Failure to develop your self-awareness will impair your ability to figure out solutions to your clients’ pain.
It makes sense; after all, your own emotions are the only ones you can really experience. If you are angry with yourself, you will understand your customer’s/client’s anger. If you are kind to yourself, you will likely be able to be kind to others.
If you can’t solve your own personal problems, how can you possibly identify and solve your client’s/customer’s? You cannot. And, if you cannot do that, you will not close the sale.
When your clients/customers recognize that your primary goal is not to push your product or service on them, but rather to understand them, reduce their pain and make their problems disappear, they are much more likely to trust you and want what you have to offer.
We Are Both Entrepreneurs And In The Business of Emotions
As psychotherapists, the notion that emotions and business were thought of as oil and water was frustrating and made no sense to us. The reason for that is simple. During the course of our work with our entrepreneurial clients, an interesting phenomenon developed. Over and over again, our clients pointed out to us that they were getting greater benefit precisely because of our combined business and psychological acumen.
In today’s crowded marketplace, your customers have a ton of options. Your business needs to stand out. The services we provide are unique and help you to differentiate yourself from the others. They are designed to address the whole entrepreneur. We believe that the successful business performance is based on the inseparable interplay between both business savvy and emotional smarts. Your business must appeal not only to respecting, understanding, and working with your customers’ emotions, but also to the quality of your product or service.
As both entrepreneurs and psychotherapists we help business people to:
- Develop an awareness of, understand and manage their emotions and those of others.
- Build better relationships with clients and customers.
- Overcome emotional challenges and solve problems.
- Developing a broader range of emotional responses and develop more conscious and thoughtful ways of communicating with clients.
- Understand target markets, both rationally and emotionally.