Thursday, February 2, 2023
HomeSalesGross sales Pipeline Radio, Episode 331 Q & A with Maria Ross...

Gross sales Pipeline Radio, Episode 331 Q & A with Maria Ross @redslice

By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Advertising

In case you’re not already subscribed to Gross sales Pipeline Radio or listening stay each Thursday at 11:30 a.m Pacific on LinkedIn (additionally on demand) yow will discover the transcription and recording right here on the weblog each Monday morning.  The present is lower than half-hour, fast-paced and filled with actionable recommendation, finest practices and extra for B2B gross sales & advertising and marketing professionals.

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This week’s present is entitled, Construct Empathy As Your Gross sales and Advertising Superpowerand my visitor is Maria Ross, Speaker, Writer, Empathy Advocate and Strategist at Purple Slice, LLC.

Tune in to listen to extra about:

  • What’s empathy and the way it’s totally different from sympathy
  • The function of empathy in gross sales and advertising and marketing
  • Myths round empathy
  • Analysis round how and why empathy is so essential

Pay attention in now for this and MORE, watch the video or learn the transcript under:

Matt:     Welcome everybody to our first 2023 episode of Gross sales Pipeline Radio. I’m so excited to have you ever all with us. I’m your host, Matt Heinz. And boy, I don’t know the place we’re within the variety of episodes. I feel we’re someplace possibly in like 300 or so. I ought to completely know this, however I’m actually excited. Lots of you might have joined us right here in the midst of your workday. In case you are like me, most days this week it felt like Monday, so I’m trying ahead to some non-Mondays as we get into subsequent week. In case you are watching and listening in the midst of your workday on LinkedIn Stay, thanks very a lot for becoming a member of us. You could be a part of the present. That’s the benefit of becoming a member of us stay, in case you have a query or a remark for our featured visitor right now, Maria Ross. We’re going to be speaking about The Empathy Edge. We’re going to be speaking in regards to the function of empathy in gross sales and advertising and marketing, some myths round empathy, and a few analysis round how and why it’s so essential. Boy, I may go for for much longer than 20 minutes on this, however very excited to have this matter right now.

When you’ve got a query or remark, put that into the LinkedIn feedback, we’ll be capable to see these. We are able to function you within the present, ask your query stay, et cetera, and thanks for that. In case you are watching or listening on demand, thanks a lot for downloading, for subscribing, for watching. In case you like what you see right here, for higher or worse, that is what we do in virtually each episode of Gross sales Pipeline Radio. So, each episode, previous, current, and future, is all the time out there at, and thanks very a lot for checking that out as nicely.

All proper, we’re going to get proper into it. Maria Ross, a pal, an skilled in lots of issues gross sales and advertising and marketing, and the writer of the brand new e book, The Empathy Edge. So excited to have you ever right here right now. And as we file this, you’re in Northern California, the bomb cyclone is making its approach by, so clearly you might have energy, you might have web connection, Pavlovian, the underside of the pyramid, I don’t know what you might have, meals, shelter, web.

Maria:   Fully, sure. Let’s simply pray to the expertise gods that we don’t reduce out like I did in the midst of a Zoom name yesterday.

Matt:     Oh, boy. No, we’re already poking the bear by even mentioning this, so I suppose it’s all going to be tremendous. Effectively, I respect you being right here and making this social gathering, I do know it is a busy season for you particularly, since you do a variety of talking, and also you particularly do a variety of gross sales kickoff conferences. So this month and subsequent month, the subsequent quarter, is especially heavy SKO season.

You’ve lined a variety of subjects within the time that I’ve recognized you, and your writing, your movies, I’ve discovered a lot from you. And empathy, this matter of empathy is admittedly essential to me as a approach of leaning in and creating actual connections with folks. Speak about why empathy and the way The Empathy Edge grew to become a brand new matter for you, and why you determined to jot down your subsequent e book on it.

Maria:   Effectively, I really like this query as a result of I truly am pivoting my enterprise into focusing full-time on empathy. As you understand, I’ve been a model strategist for a few years, and a lot of that work is about cultivating empathy, as a way to join and interact your perfect viewers. So whenever you’re constructing model messaging, whenever you’re constructing that model story, it’s not nearly options and capabilities, it’s about remembering that you simply’re chatting with human beings, even when it’s a B2B sale. That was all the time the factor that drove me loopy after I was on the shopper facet, was we’re not chatting with robots. We’re chatting with human beings, and it doesn’t matter whether or not they’re spending cash out of their very own pockets or their firm’s cash. They’re making a choice primarily based on feelings. They may inform themselves they’re making it primarily based on logic, however science has proven sufficient knowledge round the truth that we frequently make choices primarily based on emotion, and use logic to justify that call.

Yeah, so I clearly have been working round that, dancing round that matter of empathy for a few years, after which simply actually determined across the time, 2016, 2017, with all of the actually unhealthy management that was getting a variety of press, as I used to be attempting to lift, on the time, a two and a half yr previous son and train him about sharing and collaboration and empathy, I actually acquired down, as a result of I assumed, “Why am I bothering to show my son these expertise, if the profitable folks round him, that he’s going to see on the planet, don’t exhibit any of them?”

And so I launched into a journey to analysis empathy as a aggressive benefit for leaders, for cultures, for manufacturers, and was delighted to seek out that the analysis proves that empathy isn’t just good for society. It’s nice for enterprise.

Matt:     I find it irresistible. I wish to get deeper into a number of of these totally different subjects. I feel empathy has been a device and a bonus for a lot of firms for a very long time. I really feel like if something, the pandemic accentuated that, as a result of we have been pressured to work from our basements with cats and children and different issues kind of coming throughout, and it was exhibiting that human facet of issues. And I wish to deal with the id relevance of empathy right here as nicely. However let’s take a step again first, as a result of I’m unsure everybody would essentially, could not outline empathy the identical approach. To you, what’s empathy?

Maria: Empathy? There are a variety of definitions, and the definition has truly modified over time. So approach again within the 1700s, the phrase sympathy truly meant what right now we contemplate empathy. And that’s actually about having the ability to see, really feel, and perceive one other particular person’s perspective or perspective. That’s actually the place, after I’m speaking about empathy at work or empathy within the office, that’s what we’re speaking about.

And furthermore, taking that info, utilizing it as a technique of knowledge gathering if you’ll, to grasp the place somebody’s coming from and their context. After which utilizing that info to take motion, whether or not that motion is to proceed down the trail you have been doing, making a tough enterprise choice, however doing it in a approach that’s compassionate, speaking it differently. It may very well be altering your plan of action, it may very well be developing with a 3rd choice, however empathy’s type of a ineffective emotion. It’s a ineffective assemble if we don’t do something with the data that we’re getting from different folks.

Now, for a very long time we’ve talked about empathy as strolling in another person’s sneakers, and that’s beginning to lose favor, as a result of we are able to’t truly stroll in another person’s sneakers. We now have an excessive amount of of our personal bias and our personal expertise that colours that perspective.

What we are able to do is we are able to stroll beside folks, we are able to hear, we are able to join with them emotionally, even when we haven’t had that very same expertise, it may evoke the same expertise that has evoked the same emotion. And so once more, after we’re speaking about empathy, it’s about having the ability to see and perceive one other particular person’s perspective, and use that info to maneuver ahead collectively.

Matt:     Are you able to differentiate empathy and sympathy? As a result of I feel these are issues that they assume are the identical factor, however they’re very totally different. Are you able to assist outline these for us?

Maria:   Yeah, and I’m glad you requested that as a result of I feel that that holds a variety of leaders again of, “Oh, I don’t wish to be seen as sympathetic, and I’ll be seen as weak.” That’s not what empathy is. You may make a extremely robust enterprise choice and do it in an empathetic approach.

So sympathy is admittedly about, virtually about, there’s a tinge of pity concerned in sympathy, and it’s distancing your self from one other particular person. Like, “Ooh, I really feel actually sorry for you, over there. On the opposite facet. That’s not me.” Proper? Empathy is definitely standing with somebody of their ache, of their pleasure, of their confusion, and simply being a witness to that, and having the ability to join with that particular person emotionally by that course of.

And I have no idea if you happen to’ve ever seen Brené Brown. There’s a terrific illustrated video, animated video that was performed to one in all her talks, the place she talks about the truth that sympathy is somebody falls down a nicely, and also you’re on the prime of the nicely, and also you’re going, “Gee, wow, I really feel actually sorry for you for falling down on the backside of that nicely. That should suck.” Empathy is climbing down into the nicely, and sitting subsequent to them, and being with them. And so what I like to speak about lots is the myths of empathy, which is that it’s not about being good. You possibly can have a variety of good folks, however they could not perceive another person’s perspective.

It’s not about caving into loopy calls for, which is one other factor that holds leaders and salespeople again from exhibiting empathy. Simply since you perceive somebody’s perspective, it doesn’t imply you do what they need.

After which empathy can also be not about agreeing with somebody. You could be empathetic and have a constructive dialog, and truly nonetheless maintain your individual factors of view and views, however you might have a greater understanding of the place the opposite particular person is coming from.

Matt:     Sure. I really like that. We’re speaking right now on Gross sales Pipeline Prepared with Maria Ross, longtime speaker, writer, workshop facilitator, writer of the brand new e book, The Empathy Edge, and out there for SKOs, though this isn’t a pitch, however for a restricted time, as a result of I do know you’re already getting fairly booked up for this season.

This matter is so, so essential for gross sales groups. It’s one factor to speak about gross sales course of and methodology, but it surely’s one other if you happen to can train your gross sales workforce methods to ask the suitable questions, and be empathetic.

Brent Adamson, who was at Gartner and CTB, talks in regards to the three causes folks make choices. And there’s an expert and there’s a private cause. Skilled that means, “What’s in it for the corporate?” Private that means, “What’s in it for me and my profession?” However he says there’s additionally an id piece to many enterprise choices, “What does this choice say about me? How does this choice replicate who I’m?” And I feel there’s very a lot an empathy-based ripple to that framing, of methods to make a case for somebody to alter, to do one thing, to undergo the ache of change, to do one thing totally different.

Maria:   Proper, and I really like that you simply stated that, as a result of particularly when I’ve been doing my model technique work and model story work, that’s a part of it. It’s attempting to grasp that particular person’s fears, values, feelings, objectives, and chatting with that. And it may very well be simply, “What does making this choice say about me?” And even working with my most advanced tech purchasers, the place very, very left mind logical leaders, it’s getting them to grasp that it’s not nearly widgets, it’s not about options and capabilities. We truly, once more, have to talk to them as human beings if we wish to create change, if we would like them to take motion.

Matt:     Now, you in a short time referenced some analysis earlier as we acquired began, let’s unpack that. What proof exists that empathy is essential and that it really works?

Maria:   Sure. So there was a examine performed a few years in the past now. It was a examine performed, and it was featured in Harvard Enterprise Evaluate with USC, the place they discovered that probably the most profitable salespeople weren’t essentially excessive in technical data or enterprise acumen. The traits that predicted success for salespeople have been empathy, mixed with ambition. They name it ego one thing, however actually what they imply by that’s ambition.

And after we discuss empathy, I might love to simply learn you this quote, as a result of that is so highly effective from this examine. “That is the salesperson with good empathy. She senses the reactions of the client and is ready to regulate to these reactions.”

They’re sitting with them, proper within the nicely. They’re not merely certain by a ready gross sales monitor, however they perform when it comes to the true interplay between themselves and the client, sensing what the client’s feeling, capable of change tempo, double again on the monitor, and make no matter artistic modifications is perhaps essential to hone in on the goal and shut the sale.

Now, which may sound slightly manipulative, however the level being, sure, and coming from advertising and marketing and supporting gross sales groups for a very long time, enterprise gross sales groups, sure, there’s a pitch deck. Sure, there’s messaging. Sure, we wish to be constant and clear in our message, however whenever you’re in that second in that gross sales dialog, it’s having the ability to actively hear.

And so many occasions I’ve been the recipient of gross sales conferences the place they’re not even listening to me. They’re not even asking me what I wish to know, or what my drawback is. They’re certain and decided to undergo their demo, and their deck, and even to the purpose of, “Effectively, I’m not going to handle that proper now. Let me present you this factor for the subsequent half hour, earlier than I get to what you truly care about.” And people salespeople are by no means profitable.

Matt:     No. And also you talked about the concept to some this will likely sound like manipulation. It appears like that is actually extra discovery. That is actually extra kind of, you aren’t telling somebody what they need to assume. You’re discovering what they assume and the way they function right now, and tying that to a choice or end result. And also you’re not going to unnaturally try this, I don’t assume, and try this efficiently. Which leads me to my subsequent query. What do folks get improper about empathy? What are a few of the myths about empathy, which push folks within the improper path, kind of deliberately or unintentionally?

Maria:   Yeah, and we touched on a number of of these earlier, that empathy means, “If I’m very nice, I’m being empathetic.” No, that simply means you bake actually good cookies and also you convey them to the workplace. It doesn’t imply you perceive my perspective. And likewise the concept I’ve to agree with somebody in an effort to be empathetic.

There’s a gentleman named Edwin Rutsch out of Northern California. He runs a corporation known as The Heart for Constructing a Tradition of Empathy. He trains folks everywhere in the world on a way known as empathy circles, which I’ll describe as a really painful isolation of your lively listening muscle. And he’s performed these empathy circles on the most divisive political rallies we’ve had in our nation, over the previous couple of years within the US. And he’s been capable of get folks from fully reverse sides of the political spectrum in a tent, to hear to one another. And the intent is to not convert. We do not need to stroll away from each dialog, besides possibly a sale one, to transform. However they stroll away a minimum of understanding one another higher, and understanding their shared humanity, and understanding why the opposite particular person has the angle they’ve. Now, if you happen to put that in a gross sales context, so many salespeople sadly go in with a prescription on the lookout for the ailment, versus, “Let me take heed to this prospect. Let me ask and echo again what they’re saying to me. Let me replicate on what they’re saying, earlier than I launch into my prescription. And this particular person will now really feel seen, heard, and valued. They’ll really feel like I perceive them, and I’m the voice of their head.” That’s truly the important thing to efficient advertising and marketing too, is asking and echoing again.

As a substitute of, that is the message I wish to talk to you, it’s, “Inform me in your phrases the way you describe this drawback, or the profit that you simply search.” And I’m going to make use of that in my gross sales copy. I’m going to make use of that on my webpage. After which once they get there, they’re going to go, “Wow, this firm’s inside my head. They completely perceive me.”

So, I feel that that’s a few of the huge issues. And particularly the most important fable, Matt, is that, and I feel you understand this, as a result of I might say, and this isn’t simply because I’m in your present, I might say you’re a very empathetic chief.

Empathy is commonly seen as a weak spot. Like, “Oh, if I’m empathetic and I’m going to indicate vulnerability, everybody’s going to benefit from me, my ex, my boss, my workforce. It truly takes large power to be empathetic, as a result of it takes large self-confidence to hear to a different particular person’s perspective with out getting defensive.

You possibly can inform an ego-driven, weak, insecure chief, in the event that they shut different folks’s concepts down. That’s not power. That’s truly cowardice. So, I feel this notion of, “Effectively, empathy means I’m weak.” Empathy, if you happen to’re capable of be empathetic, you’re truly extremely sturdy and have an excellent presence of thoughts, and good shallowness, the place you’re like, “Okay, I can take a look at one other perspective with out seeing it as an assault.”

Matt:     I really like that you simply stated that. I do assume lots of people are afraid generally of sharing how they actually really feel, or afraid of exhibiting some empathy. Some folks simply don’t wish to open themselves as much as others that approach, and that’s fully tremendous.

However look, I’ve acquired a complete record of weblog submit subjects and different issues that get deep into issues which can be slightly susceptible, that I’m nervous about speaking. And generally I say, “Effectively, let me stress take a look at these in one-on-one conversations with folks from my viewers, and see how folks reply to that. And normally you’ll discover folks say like, “Wow, nobody ever talks about that.” Nobody is keen to convey these subjects up, however they exist they usually’re actual. And if it’s a persistent factor amongst your buyer base, amongst your prospects and your market, wouldn’t you prefer to be the model? Wouldn’t you prefer to be the gross sales skilled? Wouldn’t you prefer to be the skilled who truly is keen to have that dialog?

Maria:   “Let’s get actual and discuss this.” Sure, precisely.

Matt:     Precisely. So most of our dialog, we simply acquired a couple of minutes left right here right now with Maria Ross, if you wish to study extra about, I imply extremely encourage everybody to get a duplicate of the e book, The Empathy Edge. You possibly can study extra at Be taught extra in regards to the e book, study extra about Maria, rent Maria on your workshops and gross sales kickoffs.

Maria:   Take heed to the podcast.

Matt:     Take heed to the podcast. It’s all the issues. I simply surprise, if we’ve been speaking principally in regards to the gross sales influence of empathy. We acquired a variety of entrepreneurs listening to this as nicely. If I’m advertising and marketing, beginning off the brand new yr, how do I incorporate empathy extra successfully into my advertising and marketing?

Maria:   Oh my gosh, I really like this, as a result of I truly am launching a five-week course in March about methods to create a extra empathetic model and empathetic advertising and marketing message. And that is the place I stay.

However I feel the very first thing you are able to do is be sure you are getting in entrance of consumers. You will get all the data out of your boss about personas. You possibly can take a look at all these items. Get proactive and see if you happen to can truly pay attention to a gross sales name, take heed to a gong dialog, or if keen, get on a gross sales name and be a fly on the wall, and take heed to how prospects are explaining their ache, how they’re explaining the advantages they search, how they’re responding to totally different messages that the salespeople are giving them. However get to know the shoppers.

And I’m responsible of this too, Matt. Once I was in enterprise advertising and marketing in software program, I by no means acquired out and talked to prospects. I acquired all my info by different folks, by product advertising and marketing, by corp comm, by area advertising and marketing. And actually what I ought to have been doing was taking a while to really discuss to the shoppers at occasions, and even simply do some actually MacGyver-type buyer perception interviews, the place it isn’t about, “What do you consider our product?” however “inform me what your objectives are. Inform me what you battle with. Inform me the way you describe our product, and the advantages that you simply get from it.”

And I might say that’s a terrific first place to begin. And other people could take a look at you want, “Why are you attempting to hone in on my gross sales name, or my gross sales assembly?” However if you happen to can clarify that it’ll make you a greater marketer and assist you generate extra demand for gross sales to fill the pipeline, they’ll most likely allow you to do it.

Matt:     100%. And I feel as soon as they begin to see the influence that has, as soon as they begin to see how a lot better your advertising and marketing is, as soon as they begin to see that you’re greasing the wheels for not solely higher, deeper conversations, however larger velocity and viscosity within the total shopping for course of, all of it works collectively very well.

Marie, I do know you’re tremendous busy. Thanks a lot on your time right now. Apart from, the place else can folks study extra about you and the work you do?

Maria:   My essential hub is, and a model new web site is coming in just some weeks. After which as you talked about, is all issues podcast, e book, all that great things. And I’ve a weekly episode that drops with a C-suite chief, an skilled, a psychologist, a management advisor, that all the time provides folks actually nice nuggets to remove with them.

Matt:     I don’t know the way you do all of it. Between the content material and the journey and the consulting and the podcast and the household, you bought lots occurring.


It’s lots, however you do it too. So, give your self some props.

Matt:     It’s a labor of affection. I respect you being right here a lot. Thanks once more a lot. At or Try extra from Maria there.

Thanks a lot everybody for following us right now. First episode of 2023. We acquired a variety of nice visitors and extra subjects in retailer. Thanks to Becky, to Jack, to Lindsay, to others that have been becoming a member of us right now, that have been commenting and collaborating. Love seeing you right here. My identify is Matt. We’ll see you subsequent week on one other episode, Gross sales Pipeline Radio. Goodbye.

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