You can’t motivate people when you’re judging them. You can’t help people or get them to change if you’re labeling them and putting them in a box.

One of the key reasons why businesses struggle to grow is a lack of empathy.

Instead of loving prospects and getting to understand them where they are, business leaders automatically assume that the person not buying from them is an idiot.

By the way, that is the same reason why churches fail. And associations that do good work.

Shame and fear and peer pressure are not long-term motivators. To sell something to someone, you need to first appreciate their viewpoint of the world. To deliver marketing that inspires action, you have to speak to that person’s soul.

It’s more than you executing your sales process or running through your business strategy.

No amount of technology or behavior tracking can eliminate your need to understand the world in which your target customer is living.

The best way to do that is by asking questions.

Listening. Instead of talking.

Your mission isn’t to convince, badger, bully, or passionately persuade. To empathize, you have to listen.

Not problem solve. Listen. Not strategize. Listen. Not manipulate. Listen. Not Pitch. Listen.

Ask a question. And then ask another question. Be engaged in the conversation at hand — not in the direction you want to force that person to think.

In truth, you can’t force people to change who don’t want already to change. And why would they want to change for you when they don’t feel like you care about them in the first place?

Think about that.

Whether you’re leading an association, congregation, sales team, marketing division, or just yourself, the greatest weapon you have to get what you want is understanding what the people around you want for themselves.

Stop assuming and judging. Stop labeling people and placing them in boxes.

Empathize and love people for where they are. Your business will grow. Your church will flourish. Your association and group will be the envy of all those who observe.

More importantly, you will change the world.

You’ll help people. And perhaps, that is the greatest reward of all.

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