After moving through the discovery phase, it’s time to compile your information into points of view that can add value to the client or customer. We are now going into the insight phase.
If successful, you’ve gathered incredible insights about your client and their customers in the discovery phase. Before taking those data points and hurriedly getting back to selling your solution, you’ve got to reflect. Reflection, the ability to make connections, is not a solo activity; it’s a dual-player game. Insight, between discovery and accelerate, utilizes a mindset of empathy where understanding the person in front of you is critical.
As Naked Sales states: “Empathy helps us understand the viewpoints of the various stakeholders we’ve encountered in our discovery. It helps us see the world from their perspective, to walk in their shoes.”
Being empathetic can be difficult, especially for salespeople. We are constantly being told “no.” Vulnerability is not a feeling we know too well. However, vulnerability can unlock doors you never knew could open. Not only does empathizing open you up to more opportunities, but you become a trusted partner or advisor to your client instead of just a salesperson.
“Empathy earns you the right to tell people the truth, even when it might be hard to hear.”
An insight is a hunch. Not gripping on too tightly to a problem that’s surfaced, but more so a genuine interest that you’re willing to explore more. The solution that you were initially bringing to the client, or the one in the back of your head now that you want to yell out, could still be very wrong. You’ve gathered excellent insights from the discovery phase; now it’s time to put together a compelling story in concert with your client. There a few exercises you can facilitate to deepen insights about your client. One I’ve found very effective is the empathy map.
The objective of the empathy map is to gain a deeper level of understanding of your client. The exercise doesn’t have to be a complex endeavor. Empathy-mapping can take as little as 20 minutes. The Empathy Map Canvas serves as a quick outline to help you practice empathy and put yourself in the position of a specific human being so you can walk a few feet in their shoes by asking and answering a few essential questions:
- Who are you empathizing with?
- What do they need to do?
- What do they see?
- What do they say?
- What do they do?
- What do they hear?
- What do they think and feel?
Answering these questions helps you understand the client’s jobs-to-be-done, their pains, and gains. You can also create empathy maps for your client’s customers. When building your empathy map about the client’s customers, you first need to define who you are speaking about. Could you give them a name? Better yet, if the person you are mapping is an actual person, use the real name and do some desktop research to help you fill out this map.
One of the most famous examples of what the job causes people to buy products is the late Harvard Business School professor and disruptive innovation expert Clayton Christensen’s “The Job of a McDonald’s Milkshake.” McDonald’s approached him looking to innovate their milkshake product line. By uncovering the jobs-to-be-done by a McDonald’s milkshake, they realized that the market for milkshakes was seven times larger than they had thought. View the fascinating video below:
Empathy-mapping can even help your client identify gaps in their understanding of the customers they serve. This empathy map is an elegant tool for developing a customer persona across varying group segments. Additionally, you’re confirming hunches with your client, leading to the co-creation of a solution which means you can’t be wrong. We’ll be taking the co-creative approach into the accelerate phase.