Chapman's finding illustrates why empathy underlies great relationships and that most certainly includes selling. You'll remember that empathy is the number-one characteristic of peak-performing salespeople. Why? The cement for all relationships is trust. Whom do we trust? Those who understand us and care for us. The human need to love and be loved is so deep that its absence stirs deep emotional pain while its presence sparks profound joy. When our customers feel loved, they realize, "I've met someone who cares about me." Elsewhere, I've written that customers say that the salesman's heart is a greater influence than his or her sales skills. In other words, your interest in them counts more than your technique. That's why empathy increases sales.