Now you might be thinking, what is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of and express, handle and understand emotions.
So why is emotional intelligence important when it comes to sales?
The importance of emotional intelligence in sales is often overlooked. Today, soft skills (communication, teamwork, problem-solving and creativity) are more important in sales than hard skills (overselling the product, reliance on facts and numbers). Being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is one of the most important but underrated skills a salesperson can have. Empathy is one of the most important traits a salesperson can possess. For them to understand what it takes to close a prospect’s deal, then they need to have empathy for their situation, the ability to control their feelings and listen to others’ concerns are important characteristics of a successful salesperson. Once a salesperson knows how a customer feels, finding out their pain points and needs and wants they can then apply that to the sales messages they’re delivering throughout the process.
Traits of a salesperson with high emotional intelligence:
– Social skills
Here are some examples of key questions your sales reps should be asking themselves:
· How would this person feel?
· What would they want to know during the sales process?
· What information would they need to feel more comfortable buying?
Autonomy in the workplace allows employees space and independence to schedule their work and determine how it is done. Research from The University of Birmingham shows that giving your workforce autonomy gives positive effects on well-being and job satisfaction. In turn, it also helps build self-regulation which is one of the five key traits of emotional intelligence.
It’s common for many organisations to focus primarily on building hard sales skills whilst neglecting emotional intelligence. Often, sales reps are derailed or distracted by their emotions during the sales process, which could lead to them leaving value, presenting off-target solutions, or not asking the right or enough questions. Emotional intelligence shouldn’t be dismissed in the workplace. It is a valuable part of a team and sales training should focus on all five areas for sales reps to build emotional intelligence in time and learn how to effectively communicate and influence others.