In the wake of the Vegas shooting tragedy, here’s why Hubspot’s mission of Empathy matters
It’s a cool 39 degrees in Denver and slushy rain was falling on my windshield on the way to drop my 7-year-old daughter off at an all-girls event for kids. After I dropped her off, I stopped by a local pub and sat down to write about my week at Hubspot’s biggest event of the year, Inbound. There were over 20,000 attendees, hundreds of well-read speakers, and a few celebrities that expertly craft their words from the hip. The enthusiasm, insight, and knowledge passed was nothing short of amazing. But today was different. This morning I heard tragic news. A coward had perched himself high in a Vegas landmark hotel and began shooting and shooting and shooting. Eventually killing 59 people and leaving over 500 injured while they attended a concert in the desert. So how is this National tragedy connected to Hubspot’s Inbound conference? It’s all in Hubspot’s message of empathy.
I must have sat down to write this blog a dozen times today. Each time I stared blankly at my computer screen and couldn’t think of a word to write. The gravity of today’s events is unimaginable. The number of people affected is so huge. Brothers & Sisters, Mothers & Fathers, Sons & Daughters: If one thinks of the number of victims’ family, friends, co-workers, and people they may have touched throughout their lifetimes, the answer is stunning. In a world where closing deals in business takes first place over family and competing with your neighbor for brighter and shinier stuff is common, there are few bright spots. Last week my number one takeaway was that we, as a society, as business people, and as community leaders, do better, sell more, live a happier life, and faithfully earn our clients’ trust by employing massive compassion and empathy. This concept is at the heart of Hubspot’s Inbound selling philosophy.
Business, Selling and Relationships are actually about Caring for Life
The tagline for Hubspot’s Inbound 2017 conference was, “BUILD A FUTURE. ON EMPATHY.” What did this mean and why was it important? One of the seminars I attended was taught by former Navy Seal, Curt Cronin. Among his many brilliant messages was one of building relationships, cross-team, cross-function, and even cross-company. You never know when you may need help from another resource. It’s better to have them genuinely want to help you if you are ever in a pinch. Message taken: build bridges, not walls. Curt’s message was also one of courage. People banding together, as a team, to move towards a greater purpose. If we translate this to civilian life, the greater purpose might be family ambitions or your big-picture organizational goals. His message of team, love, passion for a greater good, and the concept of “moving forward together” symbolizes Hubspot’s mission of building a future on empathy. There’s an old saying, “Nothing brings people together like a tragedy.” It’s my hope and belief that the brave survivors in the Las Vegas tragedy will naturally be compelled to come together, push past this together, and build their future on empathy…together.
Hubspot is a Leader
Hubspot, a public company with significant investment AND lofty expectations, had just come out and said that having empathy was good and that it led to a great future. As a classically trained timeshare salesman I was intrigued. The first book I was given to read for my sales position was called “The Closers” by Ben Gay III (not his real name) and it consisted of about 20 hard-closing techniques. It was not for the faint of heart. I was expected to begin employing these “closes” on my prospects as soon as I was done with the book. We ended up practicing them every afternoon for an hour, just before the first “tours” came in to visit the property. I used them and I became a great closer. Many people signed up and some cancelled, but it didn’t matter. I was a closer and making money. My bosses were happy with me. It seemed like I really got this sales thing. Today I know better. Those hard-losing techniques exploited human psychology and left prospects with a terrible feeling as they walked out the door. Today, those tactics rarely work which leaves sales and business people looking for something better, something more compassionate. For a technology sales company to tell one to be empathetic is rare and little shocking but certainly welcome in today’s world.
In Las Vegas, throughout the shooting, you can find moments of compassion, empathy, caring for others, bravery and teamwork. We all need and could benefit from more of this. You see, Hubspot’s empathy message is not just about business, it’s about life, it’s about relationships, it’s about your kids, it’s about making purchases at the grocery store, and it’s about daily living, and it is about coming together in the face of tragedy for a greater good. It’s about listening and understanding for your fellow man, your company, your competitor, your prospect, and your client. BE EMPATHITIC. Do it now. Not just because you are going to sell more, or be a better businessperson, or make more money. Do it to become a better human. That’s a pretty darn good reason to do just about anything that’s proven to be positive. Congratulations to Hubspot to have the corporate courage and forward-thinking leadership to spread such a message. Thank you; we’re all starting to catch on.
Two hours later, it’s colder now and almost snowing in Denver on October 2nd. I picked up my daughter from her event, a little late, hugged her and soaked up her uncontrolled enthusiasm about the tie-die craft she just made. She also described how she spent a lot of time helping another girl who was having trouble with her craft. She helped her tie her shirt and expertly dip it in a vat of bright die – together they fashioned the perfect garment. At that moment, after all the day’s events, after struggling to understand why someone would do so much harm to others, I finally understood through the eyes of a child, what matters more than anything else. Let’s all agree to help and have compassion for one another. Live with empathy my friends.