During sales training sessions, we tend to focus on “hard skills,” critically important things like prospecting, qualifying, overcoming objections and closing techniques.
But there are many “soft skills” that help you become a top producer, and one of those is emotional intelligence, the ability to perceive, control and evaluate your own emotions while being in tuned with and empathetic of others’ feelings and behaviors.
Some people argue that emotional intelligence is inane, meaning you’re either born with it or you’re not. I don’t think that’s necessarily true. While some people naturally have more EQ than others, you can definitely grow your emotional intelligence.
According to business strategist Abhi Golhar, here are some ways you can increase your emotional intelligence:
- Use an assertive communication style, not a passive or aggressive one. It’s okay to be in charge of a conversation while still being respectful and empathetic of the other person.
- Respond instead of reacting to conflict. The emotionally intelligent person remains calm and attempts to use reason and logic more than raw emotion.
- Use active listening skills. When I think of active listening, I think of being “fully present” in a conversation.
- Be self motivated. Emotionally intelligent people set goals.
- Practice ways to maintain a positive attitude and understand how your moods affect other people.
- Practice self awareness, meaning you pay attention to your emotions and how they’re perceived by others.
- Take criticism well and not in a defensive manner.
- Empathize — Emotionally intelligent people know how to empathize. They understand that empathy is a trait that shows emotional strength, not weakness. Empathy helps them to relate to others on a basic human level. It opens the door for mutual respect and understanding between people with differing opinions and situations.
- Use leadership your leadership skills. Emotionally intelligent people have excellent leadership skills. They have high standards for themselves and set an example for others to follow. They take initiative and have great decision making and problem-solving skills. This allows for a higher and more productive level of performance in life and at work.
- Be approachable and sociable. Emotionally intelligent people come off as approachable. They smile and give off a positive presence. They utilize appropriate social skills based on their relationship with whomever they are around. They have great interpersonal skills and know how to communicate clearly, whether the communication is verbal or nonverbal.
Savvy sales pros realize that emotion is always part of every sale even technical, high-dollar B2B transactions. Emotion is ALWAYS present. It’s present in every prospecting call, every demo, every pitch, every objection and every close.
Humans are emotional creatures. We are fraught with feelings – both positive and negative. Sales pros are more likely to succeed when they embrace emotion and work with it as opposed to discounting it or even working against it.