How many times have you met someone who is academically talented but is unable to socialize or really click with workers? Their high IQ may help them to thrive in analytical roles that produce extremely important output for others, in contrast to someone who may not have exceptional skills and knowledge but possesses the ability to socialize network. In fact, it is a different and more recently identified type of intelligence in action: what some call Emotional Intelligence. Daniel Goleman, who has written some of the most popular work on the subject, suggests that emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage emotions – yours, and those of others. When we think of it in those terms, and consider the role of sales people, we begin to understand the important role that emotional intelligence (EQ) plays in sales. Thus, in this article we are going to discuss Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success.
Relationship between Sales and Emotional Intelligence
Does the strategy for improving sales results include journaling, meditation, and reflection? Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage our own emotions, as well as identify and influence the emotions of others. It is a concept that is becoming more and more prevalent in conversations about business, although it tends to be linked most often with leadership and teamwork. However, emotional intelligence is equally important in a sales relationship. Being aware of our own emotions can contribute to improved self-confidence and as any experienced salesperson believes that confidence is key to sales success.
The ability to regulate our own emotions helps improve perceptions of our trustworthiness and integrity, incredibly important attributes for a professional salesperson. Understanding our own emotions and those of others helps us display more empathy, helping us to ask wiser questions, suggest better solutions, and handle objections more effectively.
Sales success depends to a great degree on emotional intelligence. In fact, studies show it’s a much better predictor than IQ to determine an individual’s overall intelligence and success. Sales professionals are aware of and harness their emotions according to situations and can solve conflicts effectively.
Following are some attributes of individuals high on emotional intelligence:
- Not perfectionists
- High on curiosity
- Aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses
- Focus is on the positive
- Create and maintain boundaries
- Difficult to offend
- Highly open minded
- Healthy social skills
Improving Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success
According to Colleen Stanley, the author of ‘Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success’ emotional intelligence skill training is essential in closing the knowing and doing gap. Many salespeople know what to do. However, in nerve – wracking situations they allow emotions to start running the sales meeting rather than using effective selling and influence skills. That’s when non-productive selling behaviors occur, sales are reduced, and emotions overpower productivity. Emotional intelligence is still in its infancy for many sales organizations which is why some are excited to be leading the charge. American Express, Avon, MetLife, Medtronic, 3M, Motorola, Honeywell, Johnson and Johnson just to name a few that are incorporating it into their management and leadership training.
Below are some strategies to improve Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success according to Colleen Stanley:
- Schedule downtime and don’t wait for society to reward you for it. They get to believe the what and why behind their actions or inactions. It provides them the insight to be disciplined in future interactions.
- Assertiveness while asking questions and challenge the customer’s assumptions.
- Empathy for the customer to understand their interests and needs.
- Independence to foster more self-starting behaviors.
- Facilitate control to be more proactive than reactive.
- Flexibility to adapt and deal with stressful situations.
- Optimism for maintaining a positive outlook in the face of setbacks.
Other emotional intelligence areas ripe for development might involve self-improvement, self-awareness, emotional expression, relationship building, problem solving and stress tolerance. Although right now emotional intelligence development is in the very earliest stages for most sales departments, emotional intelligence for sales success is slowly becoming a popular concept nowadays and integrating it into the workplace is yielding excellent results.