The Top Skill of Successful Salespeople? Emotional Intelligence
What Traits are in the Toolbox?:
Emotional intelligence and intellectual intelligence probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think “salesperson.” Traits like good speaking skills, extroversion, and dedication are all likely to be at the top of the list of descriptors for those who have chosen sales as their profession. These are all important skills that need to be furnished, but sales experts are highlighting the importance of emotional intelligence as one of the top skills for salespeople. Salespeople must learn to focus on the customer. It’s the customer’s overall needs, the problems they are experiencing, the markets that they’re trying to serve, their ideal customer, and what outcomes they are trying to achieve.
How to Demonstrate Emotional Intelligence:
Emotional intelligence and empathy are two very closely linked human qualities. If you want to utilize more emotional intelligence with your clients and reap the benefits of being more empathic, there are a few things that you can do. The first tip is to figure out if your client is asking the “so what?” question. If you have just communicated something important to your prospect, and they are obviously thinking, “so what?” in their heads, you as a salesperson haven’t done a good enough job of contextualizing what you are saying. Salespeople must make their point within the context of how it helps the buyer, and how it helps them achieve their goals. Think about things from the buyer’s perspective. Step into their shoes; have empathy for their situation. If you can do this, you can contextualize the information you’re trying to provide in a way that doesn’t end with a “so what?” but rather with an, “oh, that makes so much sense for me, I really see how this could help me.”
Understanding the Problem:
The job of a salesperson is to find a solution for their clients. But how can a salesperson even begin to start helping their client find the perfect solution when they don’t even understand the problem? All too often, salespeople dive into the sales process without fully understanding their buyer’s wants and needs, pain points, and their purpose for reaching out to a salesperson. The tendency to move straight into solution mode, without actually diagnosing the problem or understanding how the problem affects the client’s life, leads to an insufficient solution. This is where emotional intelligence comes into play. Can you listen to your buyer? Can you have empathy for their problem? Learn to see the problem through the eyes of your buyer in order to truly understand how to provide the best solution.
Information for this article was sourced from a video interview on emotional intelligence with sales experts Tony J. Hughes and Cian McLoughlin.