Emotional Intelligence is Key for Sales Professionals

Slide1It’s a given that salespeople need great interpersonal skills. We identify potential salespeople based on their “people” skills.

There are many more skills needed, of course, for salespeople to become masterful at what they do. It’s one thing to win new business; it’s another to bring in new clients that are a great fit for your company. Clients that give your team opportunities to do their best work can maximize profit on the account. For this to work, your sales team must have a balanced use of emotional intelligence skills, only one of which is interpersonal or people skills.

Emotional Intelligence** is a set of skills that influence the way we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way (MHS, Multi-Health Systems definition.) There are 15 skills in the MHS Emotional Intelligence system and they are key to the success of your sales team.

Three emotional intelligence skills that contribute to sales success include

– Interpersonal relationships* which is the ability to build and maintainrelationships

– Empathy* to listen and understand problems that need to be solved, and

Social responsibility*, the willingness and ability to do the right thing and have a desire to contribute to the welfare and success of your clients.

Low usage or lack of understanding on how to use these three skills guarantees a difficult or slow sales process and lower than desired closing percentages. It can also mean your salespeople are pushing solutions on potential customers without really understanding the problem.

When I led sales for a marketing firm, we had the opportunity to pitch an international company. We were a small fish in a sea of competitors that included national firms.

As a team, we focused on building relationships with all parties involved in the process. Because of our empathetic approach of generous listening and asking strategic questions, we earned the right to continue into the next round. To win the business, we demonstrated social responsibility*, in which we presented ideas in their best interest to help them solve their problem. More importantly, we helped our potential client show social responsibility* by giving them some new insight into their target market.

During the five-month process, we continued to build interpersonal relationships with as many members on the potential client team as we could meet, which combined with our approach, won a new account that led to substantial revenue growth as well as hiring new employees.

There are twelve other emotional intelligence skills that contribute to the success of your sales team. In my next post I will discuss three emotional intelligence skills that prevent your sales team from leaving money on the table.

If you are a sales manager and desire improved team performance and stronger client relationships, I encourage you to call me for a complimentary consultationto learn how you can coach your team in developing their emotional intelligence skills. I am certified in the MHS EQ-i 2.0 Emotional Intelligence Survey and MHS EQ-i 2.0 360 Emotional Intelligence Survey, as well as the MHS EQ-i Emotional Intelligence Leadership Assessment.

To learn more about emotional intelligence for your sales team, schedule a complimentary consultation with me.

* Interpersonal relationships, empathy and social responsibility are three skills in the MHS EQ-I 2.0 emotional intelligence assessment.