This autumn, I had the opportunity to experience our value proposition from the perspective of a customer. We offer service seven days a week and I needed a freelancer to cover a Saturday shift with the same dependability as an employee. I made the offer to pay someone, regardless of whether it was busy or not, regardless of whether we had project work lined up or not. They would get paid for a full day no matter if they were helping customers or playing video games while they kept an eye on the queue.

Essentially, I was paying for availability and access to someone who knows what they’re doing. That’s precisely what we offer our customers.

It wasn’t a big “ah ha”, but in the moment I remember recognizing, “This is exactly the same decision making process our customers go through.”

Emotions do factor into how someone buys, but there is still a rationale underneath it- even when it’s not super rational.

Having empathy for your customer’s situation, understanding what they’re thinking and feeling, is incredibly powerful for how you frame and position your value proposition.

In the lead up to Christmas, I was struck by how many gifts I was planning for. Gifts to my family, friends, charities, clients, and team members. It’s a good reminder of how interconnected and interdependent we all are.

This is why empathy is such a powerful capacity to have. It supports how you interact with your customers, your partners, your suppliers, and your team members in a thousand different ways.

Featured image is the partially restored main street of Patara. This is the city near where St. Nicholas was born on the coast of modern Turkey (ancient Lycia.) By Bjørn Christian Tørrissen used unaltered under CC BY-SA 4.0.