The 3 essential Emotional Intelligence skills for driving sales success

Jun 05 2018 | Tags: Emotional Intelligence

The 3 essential Emotional Intelligence skills for driving sales success

What makes you mad, sad or glad? The chances are they are the same things that make your customers and colleagues mad, sad, or glad. We are all the same. Emotions are heartfelt and shape your behaviour, your relationships, your most important decisions, including your buying decisions, and even your economy. That’s right, there’s money in emotion.

In a marketplace increasingly shaped by emotion, success comes from attracting the emotional customer– not the rational one. Throughout the sales process and particularly at the point of closing the sale, it’s emotions (yours and your customer’s) that determine whether or not people will buy from you. Smart sales professionals train in emotional intelligence and leverage these three specific emotional intelligence skills to help them succeed more.

1. Empathy

Empathy is the platform upon which the entire sales process is built if it is to be effective. Empathy is about demonstrating that you can see the world from the other person’s point of view. It enables you to cultivate an approach in which you see each customer as distinctive and understand that, no matter how familiar a problem can appear to you, each customer is convinced that their challenge or situation is unique. Your challenge is to build a shared emotional connection so that the client can begin to trust you.

With empathy you are able to convey personal interest and build shared solutions. Well-developed empathy skills enable you to read the emotions inherent in each interpersonal exchange and allow you to build emotional capital by establishing shared human experience that lead to win-win outcomes.

Empathy involves two dimensions: a cognitive dimension – understanding the task that the other person must perform or challenge they face – and an emotional dimension – acknowledging and validating their emotional experience i.e., how they feel about their circumstance. To deliver high sales performance requires both dimensions. Both play crucial roles and by training you can form more engaged customer relationships, increase effective communication, and help close the deal.

2. Optimism

The harsh undeniable reality of sales is that’s it’s a tough, relentless and more often than not a heart-breaking profession. To be successful, high-performing sales professionals must practice optimism both to seize the opportunities and demonstrate the mental toughness in the face of frequent setbacks and challenges.

In times of change, sales leaders can see the potential opportunities and benefits that they can leverage, have a clear vision of the value they bring, and make clear how it will benefit the customer. But, perhaps most importantly for sales, they possess a level of resilience that enables them to persist in the face of setbacks. More specifically, they tend to see a benefit in every situation and rather than focus on mistakes, instead, they seek the valuable lesson in every problem or difficulty. Setbacks inevitably lead to disruptive emotions such as disappointment and fear, but rather than drown in a negative mindset they have learnt to focus on the task to be accomplished and move forward.

3. Self-confidence

Having Self-Confidence and the positive energy derived from Optimism, together, create a persuasive nonverbal message to customers. Self-confidence is the emotional component of your personality and the most important factor in determining how you think, feel and behave. Sometimes as sales environment can seriously undermine personal and professional confidence. You may be really new to the role and feel unsure about your knowledge of the industry, be under pressure because of a series of knockbacks or have a depleted pipeline.  The challenge here is that when you lack confidence in yourself, customers tend to lack confidence in you too.

Accordingly, despite sometimes stressful and pressured environments, high-performing sales professionals have to learn to exhibit an authentic confidence by managing their internal voice and negative self-talk.  They are confident of eventual success and believe that their future is in their control and so act the part of a confident person. And, of course, nothing says “I can be trusted” like natural soft eye contact, a genuine smile and a relaxed body posture. Shake hands firmly and don’t forget to add a natural smile while making direct eye contact.

These three specific skills are the key to building your emotional intelligence which, I strongly believe, will have the biggest impact on your sales performance.

About the Author:

Martyn Newman, PhD is a clinical psychologist specialising in Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Mindfulness. Dr. Newman is the author of the best-selling book Emotional Capitalists and newly released The Mindfulness Book, and is the cofounder of RocheMartin. He is also co-author of the Emotional Capital Report™ – the global benchmark for defining, measuring and developing EQ and workplace performance.

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