The digital age has created a customer base that has an abundance of information at their fingertips. Today, the buyer is well informed about products and services. They know what we’ve got to sell, what our products and services do and don’t do, and how products and services compare with other like products and services in the market. As a result, great sales teams know that what’s most important to buyer decisions and loyalty is your understanding of their needs, the relationship you forge with them and the emotional experience you generate. What underpins your capacity to forge relationships and positive emotional experiences with buyers is your Emotional Intelligence.

Emotional intelligence comprises six specific competencies. 

  1. Self-Awareness – your capacity to identify your own emotions and be aware of the impact they are having on your decisions and behaviour. Salespeople high in self-awareness have a clear picture of their own emotions and what affect those emotions are having on them. Emotions are contagious and can inadvertently infect buyers. Negative emotions can also inhibit good decision-making. Salespeople high in self-awareness are better equipped to manage emotions getting in the way and generate emotions that help facilitate buyer relationships and experiences.
  2. Awareness of Others – your capacity to perceive and understand the emotions of buyers. This capacity helps salespeople read the non-verbal emotional behaviour of buyers and adapt their presentation accordingly (from informal to formal, for example). Salespeople that demonstrate high awareness of others are adept at anticipating and reading the emotions of buyers.
  3. Authenticity – your capacity to effectively express how you feel and facilitate authentic dialogue with buyers. As buyers become more informed, the opportunity for disagreement, objections and conflicts is heightened. Authentic salespeople can effectively express their views and facilitate difficult conversations. Some buyers express their feelings bluntly, and others hold them back. Being able to share your views in a way that facilitates open, respectful dialogue is key to maintaining and developing relationships.
  4. Emotional Reasoning – your capacity to use emotional data gathered from self-awareness and Awareness of Others and combine it with other objective information when decision-making in sales calls. Salespeople use this capacity to identify when what and how to communicate when to listen, what questions to ask and when to let the buyer think things through
  5. Self-Management – your capacity to effectively regulate and manage your emotions. Sales by its very nature, generates considerable emotion, particularly disruptive emotions like stress, uncertainty, impatience and over-confidence. These emotions can derail sales conversations, how you build rapport and have an effect on your overall judgement of situations. Salespeople high in self-management effectively regulate these emotions and generate the type of emotions within themselves that facilitate good judgement and healthy interactions with buyers. This capacity also contributes to resilience which is paramount in competitive markets.
  6. Positive Influence – your capacity to positively influence the emotions of buyers. Buying products and services is high stakes and this pressure can create heightened emotions in buyers. Positive influence helps salespeople respond to buyer emotions effectively. Salespeople high in positive influence are capable of breaking down resistances and building trust. They are also better equipped at dealing with conflict and helping buyers navigate internal disagreements, which is critical to maintaining buyer relationships and loyalty.

Salespeople high in emotional intelligence are able to reflect on their own emotions and adjust them to best fit with the buyer and situation they are dealing with them in. They can anticipate and plan sales interactions to help ensure the buyer feels valued and confident in dealing with them. Salespeople with high emotional intelligence are more capable of regulating their own emotions, adapting, and influencing the emotions of buyers in a subtle way that brings about positive interactions.

Buyers purchase based on emotion and justify their choice with logic. Today buyers are able to justify their decisions online and elsewhere without any input at all from salespeople. It’s the connection you make, how well you work through their objections, and how confident you help make them feel that helps you make the initial sale. How well you deliver on your promises, maintain the relationship and help the buyer navigate internal disagreements that help keep them loyal. Emotional intelligence is the critical competency underpinning all this.

If you would like to improve your emotional intelligence in the sales team, then speak to Marcus about his SELLING WITH EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE WORKSHOP PROGRAM

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