Making sales is tough, but even that is an understatement on so many counts. Irrespective of their sales, a big majority of sales reps work for endless hours every week. Around 55 percent describe their lifestyle as stressful and many believe their career somehow negatively impacts their personal life. With such intense levels of stress, sales reps who lack emotional intelligence fail to build rapport with prospects and often become the first casualties to fall by the wayside.
What is emotional intelligence (EQ)?
Also known as Emotional Quotient (EQ), emotional intelligence is the ability to understand the feelings and thoughts of someone else. For instance, sales reps with high EQ levels tend to put themselves in customers' shoes, acknowledge their concerns, understand their needs and preferences, and treat them with empathy.
Why is emotional intelligence important in sales?
Have you ever wondered why is the concept of emotional intelligence given so much importance in the world of sales?
The primary idea behind emotional intelligence from the perspective of sales is not to make the customer feel pressurized into making a purchase, but to actively listen to their concerns and understand their pain points & challenges before suggesting a solution. A sales rep can demonstrate emotional intelligence by mentioning the customer problem followed by a demonstration of how their products and/or services can resolve those problems.
Emotional Intelligence is highly effective to reduce staff turnover and generate more revenue. It can be nurtured in sales reps through self-awareness, self-regulation, social skills, motivation, and empathy. For instance, sales managers can offer more freedom to their sales reps to decide what they think is best in a given situation. Sales reps can also be encouraged to become brand representatives by ensuring their social skills go beyond talking to their customers.
You can motivate them to become thought leaders in their space and build their as well your company's brand. This can include sharing expertise on professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn, talking at conferences, or connecting with sales reps from other companies. All in all, emotional intelligence is all about providing assistance to a customer after carefully understanding their needs and complementing the assistance with a story and a soul that the customer can relate to, understand, and react to.
In sales, the concept of emotional intelligence is often overlooked or understated. Traditionally, aggressive selling was considered the preferred way for salespeople to bring sales but not anymore. Today, soft skills are more important than hard skills. In other words, the true characteristics of a modern-day sales rep are all about listening to the concerns of others, controlling their own feelings, becoming honest and empathetic, appreciating the emotions of others, and encouraging people to make rational (not rushed) choices.