Sales is oftentimes seen as a numbers game. Yet when it comes to improving one’s sales technique, you’ll often come across ideas like non-verbal communication or concentrating on the client’s needs. Surely the importance of these skills is exaggerated, right?
Believe it or not, emotional intelligence is the most important tool a salesperson has. Building rapport, making connections, and reading the room all rely on your EQ. Let’s take a look at what emotional intelligence is and how it can be used intentionally to enhance your sales calls.
Emotion is a key aspect of sales
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your emotions and the emotions of others, using the ability to communicate effectively and build productive relationships. It may seem easy at first glance, but it actually requires a great deal of effort and introspection to get it right.
There are five basic pieces that make up emotional intelligence:
- Self-awareness: Identifying and understanding your emotions and how they affect those around you
- Self-regulation: Controlling your emotions to keep them from negatively affecting those around you, as well as how someone deals with change
- Socialization: Forming and maintaining relationships with others
- Empathy: Identifying the emotions of others, sharing those emotions, and responding appropriately to them
- Motivation: Understanding what drives your behavior, as well as the determination to take on and complete tasks
These skills can be improved over time, and each benefits one another. Being emotionally intelligent, though, requires each of these skills to be learned.
How does emotion factor into the sales process?
If there’s one thing that is universally true about the sales process, it’s that sales is all about creating and maintaining connections. As we’ve seen in the previous section, many of the aspects of emotional intelligence deal directly with interpersonal relationships and how you affect the emotional state of others. Truly connecting with and influencing others requires a great deal of emotional intelligence.
It’s easy to rely on logic in sales, like improving key performance indicators and providing important information to clients, but decisions are ultimately emotional experiences. This is especially true on shorter sales calls, where decisions are often made reactively. Knowing how to give yourself an emotional edge is very important for sales.
How does one improve their emotional intelligence?
There are a variety of ways you can improve your emotional intelligence. Some of these methods include:
- Take time to reflect on your own emotions, such as through journaling or meditation, so you can understand them better in real-time
- Practice active listening, focusing on the emotions being broadcasted through words and actions in conversation
- Learn from an expert by talking with a psychologist or taking a Behavioral Economics class
- Research ways to practice emotional intelligence day-to-day and apply the techniques that work best for you
Gordon Tredgold, an accomplished sales leader, provides ten ways to improve emotional intelligence, including listening more than speaking and making an effort not to interrupt others.
These are not the only methods to increase your emotional intelligence, of course, but they should provide a solid starting point. As said, improving these skills takes a lot of time and effort.
How each factor of emotional intelligence can improve your sales process
Self-awareness helps create sales strategies
Being self-aware means understanding your own internal emotions and how they can affect others. Understanding how you feel gives you greater confidence during the sales process. This skill can also help you with your sales strategy, as you can figure out how others are influenced by your emotions and meet potential clients in the best possible way.
These strategies can then be turned into sales approaches, where you can lay out the best possible talking points and steer the conversation with your unique emotional traits. You can even create a sales script that takes advantage of your emotional appeals, which can be fed to you with a virtual teleprompter like VODIUM.
Self-regulation builds a salesperson’s resilience
Let’s be honest: not every call is going to go well. Inevitably, you’ll have to deal with a lot of rejection from clients, and that can certainly take a toll. Also, there are a lot of factors that could influence a call negatively: overwhelming tasks at work, stress at home, or even a generally bad day. You want every advantage you can get, but you also don’t want any disadvantages arising from your own emotions.
Self-regulation, the ability to deal with the emotions one experiences, can help balance out these negative emotions and improve a salesperson’s resilience when they inevitably experience stress or rejection. As a salesperson, you can keep your cool even when dealing with the worst of clients, and the stress from those clients won’t transfer to others.
Also, if you’re a leader, giving your team the tools to help with self-regulation can improve employee satisfaction and reduce turnover.
Socialization helps create rapport with clients
A large part of being an effective salesperson is the ability to build and maintain relationships with clients. While part of that process revolves around the professional sales pitch, another key aspect is casual conversation. If your clients see you as an acquaintance, closing deals becomes a lot smoother.
Socialization is all about those types of interactions, helping you form emotional bonds with prospective clients. First off, socialization is a super valuable skill when it comes to networking and prospecting. Also, it can help you influence prospective clients and create more positive reactions to your sales pitch. And, once the deal is done, socialization will help you maintain lasting business relationships.
Empathy helps gauge how a client is feeling
A good salesperson will tailor their sales pitch to a specific client and adjust the pitch on the fly depending on how the client responds. One of the keys to determining how a client may be responding to your sales pitch is through the application of empathy, understanding the emotions being demonstrated by the other person.
Understanding your client’s emotions is especially important during a video call, as so much of the non-verbal communication people typically process will be hidden from view due to the limitations of the video window. You need to utilize all the tools at your command to make up for this.
One of the tools you may find useful is a virtual teleprompter app like VODIUM, which has a transparency setting that allows you to monitor your prospective client even while you’re reading your prepared sales script. This makes it easier to gauge how the client is reacting, which in turn allows you to make adjustments on the fly as needed.
Motivation means more deals and higher performance
Motivation can affect just about every area of a salesperson’s performance. Properly motivated, a salesperson can power through difficult situations. They can withstand emotional lows or overcome anxiety. High motivation can also decrease employee turnover, and empower salespeople to help overcome customer difficulties.
To put it simply: a motivated salesperson is an effective salesperson. By their very nature, they will be more likely to close deals, perform at a higher level, and do what it takes to land new prospective clients.
Motivation by itself is an effective tool. Motivation used in conjunction with the other emotional intelligence factors on this list can make for an extremely effective salesperson.
VODIUM helps create an empathetic sales approach
You can’t take the emotion out of sales. Truly, understanding and influencing the emotions of yourself and others are the best skills to foster.
We’ve mentioned some of the benefits that VODIUM can bring to your sales force in the realm of emotional intelligence. In addition to those mentioned, VODIUM makes it easier for your salespeople to both utilize and recognize non-verbal cues, maintain the appropriate amount of eye contact with the prospective client, and gauge audience reaction to their sales script.
Interested in seeing these benefits yourself? Try out a free trial of VODIUM today!
Drop by our website to start your free trial today, and let us help you take your sales force to the next level!