byFastDent3510-12-201710:54 AM - edited 10-12-201711:37 AM
Salespeople need emotional intelligence (EQ) skills – defined as the ability to recognize what emotion you are feeling, why you are feeling it and to manage how it affects how you choose to show up each day – in order to win and retain business. Emotional intelligence enables salespeople to consistently execute the right selling behaviors and attitudes. High EQ salespeople have the ability to choose their responses, rather than react, to the various triggers that can happen during sales calls and meetings.
For example, picture a salesperson running a meeting with a prospect that immediately starts asking, “What’s your price, what’s your price?” The pressured salesperson may default to an emotional response. Instead of executing the appropriate redirect, the salesperson blurts out a price – but without uncovering the prospect’s needs. Or worse, he delivers a bad one liner such as, “Well, are you looking for a Yugo or a Lexus?” Emotions start running the meeting rather than selling and influence skills.
It’s the classic knowing-and-doing gap.
Difficult prospects don’t fluster the high EQ salesperson and as a result, she can execute the appropriate response. She calmly replies, “We will definitely get to the investment. However, I am not even sure what your problems you are trying to solve and more important, if we are the company to address them. Would it make sense if we back up and have more dialogue?” EQ (soft) skills help with the execution of hard selling (consultative selling) skills. Research supports that the best salespeople possess both Sales EQ and Sales IQ.
So what can salespeople do to improve their emotional intelligence? The best strategy is to carve out downtime each day. In the quiet, you can reflect on how you showed up during your selling day. If you responded in a manner that you regret, ask yourself how and what triggered you. Reflect and identify what you can do to change the response to such triggers? This reflection time increases your self-awareness. And, without self-awareness, you are bound to repeat the same selling mistakes.
You can’t change that which you are not aware of.
Improve your sales results by studying and improving your emotional intelligence. Soft skills do make a difference in hard sales results.
Want more insights on the impact of EI on sales success and how you can improve your own emotional intelligence? Join us next Wednesday, October 18th at 10 am PDT for our webinar, Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success. I'll be discussing why the lack of emotional intelligence skills is one of the biggest and most frequently overlooked reasons for missed revenue goals, and why EI skills are every bit important as hard selling skills. You will learn the neuroscience behind effective selling and influence, and how specific emotional intelligence skills such as empathy, assertiveness, impulse control and self-regard directly affect successful sales outcomes.Click here to register for free.
Colleen Stanley is president and founder of SalesLeadership, Inc., a sales development firm. She is the creator of the Ei Selling System®, a powerful sales program that integrates emotional intelligence skills with consultative selling skills. She is the author of two books, Emotional Intelligence For Sales Success, now published in six languages, and author of Growing Great Sales Teams. Salesforce recently named Colleen one of the top sales influencers of the 21st century. She has also been named one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers, Top 10 Women in Sales Experts to Follow and Top 30 Global Gurus.
Prior to starting SalesLeadership, she was vice president of sales for Varsity Spirit Corporation. During her 10 years at Varsity, sales grew from 8M - 90M and the company was named by Forbes magazine as one of the 200 fastest growing companies in the United States. Clients include Harvard Business Review Poland, Otterbox, Arthur J. Gallagher, BIC Graphic, Xerox PARC, First American Title, Siemens Corporation, Vail Resorts, HomeAdvisor and FedEx.