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How to Hire and Develop Your Next Top Performer: The Qualities That Make Salespeople Great, Second Edition by Herbert Greenberg, Patrick Sweeny

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CHAPTER 4

Empathy: The Guidance System

The first key quality we found to be of critical importance to sales success is empathy. Empathy is the ability to read others. It’s knowing what drives them. It’s being able to intuit their strengths, limitations, potential, and motivations. Empathy is the ability to pick up the subtle clues and cues provided by others in order to accurately assess what they are thinking and feeling.

People with real empathy would not walk into an antique shop and ask, “What’s new?” (OK. We couldn’t help ourselves.)

It is important to keep in mind that empathy does not necessarily involve agreeing with the feelings of others, but it does involve knowing what their feelings or ideas are. Empathy is not sympathy. Objectivity ...

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