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TV Expert Interviews / Improving Sales Team Performance / Nov 23, 2019 / Posted by Nicolas Vandenberghe / 2156

The Overlooked and Most Important Sales Skill – Empathy


Nicolas Vandenberghe is co-founder & CEO Chili Piper which is a buyer enablement platform that helps convert leads faster. He started selling newspapers in the streets of Paris in high school, studied Maths at Ecole Polytechnique then Business at Stanford GSB, started and sold 3 tech companies with up to 65 employees and $11M in revenues, ran Sales for a $2Bn telecom company negotiating billion-dollar deals with companies like Google, now co-founder of Chili Piper – on a mission to create a new software category around Buyer Enablement – helping businesses help their buyers.

Expert insight interview with John and Nicole as the cover these points:

  • What is the importance of Empathy and is it more important today than it was ever was? Or Has it always been this important always?
  • One thing that people often confused about is Empathy with Sympathy. They think that empathizing is the same as sympathizing which is totally wrong. As you can empathize and get inside the mind of the buyer but you can still deliver challenges to them. What are Nicolas’ views regarding the same?
  • To do that, you need to get out of your own head a little bit and focus on the other person and try to understand what’s going on. Sometimes people that are really customer focus but they really never get out of their own head because they still kind of thinking about what they will be going to do next. What is Nicolas’ Perception regarding this?
  • Is it possible to become more empathetic or can you become more mind-focused or mindful?
  • Is anything else around empathy that is very important for people to consider?

To become a perfect seller, you need to be empathetic. Nicolas believes that to be good at sales, you have to understand and take into account people’s emotions, but you do not need to be affected by these emotions. As a practical example, as a seller; if I understand the buyer’s emotions, I could use those emotions as part of my strategy to close.

Here we are also discussing the importance of time when it comes to following up with valuable leads. Speed matters and can make a big improvement in conversion rates. No one likes surprises, so it is vital to have a repeatable sales process that is aligned to how you forecast if you’re going to have predictability in your business.

Our Host

John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

About Author

Co-founder of Chili Piper - intelligent calendar for business professionals, Previously founded and ran 3 startups: Delean Vision, RedCart & LivePix. Most recently go-to-market & strategy advisor to 10Gen-MongoDB, Orchestrade Financial Systems & Echostar.


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