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Sunil Munshi

Sunil Munshi is CEO at Denave India.

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Emotional Intelligence - Key to Successful Selling

The profession of sales is going through continuous evolution - Sooner or later, consumers will have more power, more information and will have more control over the sales process.

Passion, Understanding, Sensitivity etc. – All these words are generally associated with the softer side of humans and thence, their connect with the business landscape was majorly ignored for long. However, with mindsets becoming more open, even the industrial creed realized the importance of emotions in turning the tables when it comes to deal-cracking. Today, be it that tense moment in the boardroom before the contract signing or even that fountain pen advertisement over TV – it has spelled ‘emotions’ all over it, in big bold letters.

Coming to selling, convincing a person to accept your logic or to buy your product has never been a cakewalk and any person who has ever been into sales will vouch for the same. In fact, successful selling is one of the most intriguing phenomena if seen in the realm of business psychology. Therefore, comes the ‘intelligence’ part which allows the leverage of emotions in line with the situation at hand. Instead of selling, it is now called as ‘addressing the pain points’ by providing a solution- centric approach. It’s nothing but wise channelization of emotions, though many people may even relate it to skillful manipulation. It is the most identified type of intelligence in action, often termed as Emotional Quotient (EQ). According to a few industry studies, emotional intelligence is often regarded as the sturdiest predictor of performance, explaining approx. 58 percent of success in various jobs.

Delving Deeper

Since beginning, buying has been a mix of tactical plus emotional experience for consumers. Salespeople are thus expected to understand a buyer’s emotions, manage and sail through them to make that final sell. Foremost expressional requisite for any sales rep is the passion or belief in what they are selling, without which, no matter how amazing the product/ service is, it will fall flat. Also, being emotionally intelligent allows them to look beyond the data gained from the IQ side of their research. Through the accumulation of intelligent data, their sales pitch will bear a more effective and intuitive approach. As per Colleen Stanley, the global creator of EI and the author of Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success - “When customers can get product information and price comparisons online, the true differentiator is the ability to deftly solve problems and build relationships—EI territory!” This phrase clearly depicts that EQ has laid the foundation in this era of new-age customers to become a quintessential element of all business strategies.

EQ- A Key Differentiator

While salespeople may know how to do their job, still, during stressful selling hours they allow emotions to take over the sales meetings rather than using effective influencing skills. Some of them may boil over in negotiations, others may just freeze up. Here, EQ becomes a key differentiator which enables cordial conversations with the customers. However, just being a good conversationalist has never been enough if the sales rep lacked the intelligence to mould the pitch as per the customer. According to a study by TalentSmart – an EQ Training Firm, EQ alone explains that 90% of top performers are high in EQ.  

Let’s look at couple of positive impacts that EQ has while driving sales success:

  • Better Relationships
  • A healthier rapport with good levels of trust can be expected in a seller-buyer relationship.
  • Better Retention Score
  • A great deal of value-add is possible when salespeople are able to identify and target the most significant and impactful skills within their roles.
  • Reduce Misunderstandings
  • Sensitivity and emotional awareness will prove very helpful in solving customers’ problems.
  • Better Resilience
  • Dealing with disappointments, failed pitches and repeated challenges will become easier

Inculcating EQ in Sales Professionals

Salespeople face numerous challenges every day – stress, tough prospects and customers, busy calendars etc.  which of course might never change. However, their reaction to them can be recognized, controlled and improved by increasing their emotional quotient. Training has always been a critical component while embedding any value in professionals and EQ Training has been recognised industry-wide for providing a competitive edge to the organisations. After all, it makes them self-aware of their strong personality areas which they could leverage for connecting with the customer/ prospect. Simultaneously, this will help in bridging the gap between “Knowing and Doing”. Sales, as a profession, hinges on successful social relationships.

EQ: Creating A New Psychology of Selling

The profession of sales is going through continuous evolution - Sooner or later, consumers will have more power, more information and will have more control over the sales process. The deteriorating attention spans have also rendered the regular sales pitch engagement tougher than ever. It is thus evident that for an effective sales performance, it’s essential to understand that one size does not fit all anymore. We can thus infer that, in this new paradigm and new-age of technology wherein information is ubiquitous and consumer’s attention is important, sales professionals are required to learn how to leverage a new psychology of selling which is powered by Emotional Intelligence! 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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