Emotional intelligence consists of one’s ability to express and control emotions, read the emotions of others, and respond to others empathetically. Knowing this, it makes sense that emotional intelligence would have its place in sales performance.
A typical sales role calls for connecting with and communicating with total strangers—a task far easier for those with high EI. We’ll look at some sales aspects that are most affected by emotional intelligence, and how they can potentially improve sales performance.
Building Rapport. Very few salespeople would claim that the same sales tactic works on every individual. Tailoring a sales tactic based on each prospect’s interests, standards, and expectations is a more effective method than a cookie-cutter routine—and a method that requires emotional intelligence. Being able to read the signals a prospect puts out and respond effectively are what EI is all about.
Delayed Gratification. That buzz that comes from a freshly closed deal doesn’t always happen as quickly as salespeople want it to. In this case, emotional intelligence presents itself by helping the salesperson control their emotions, with the knowledge that some rewards require patient work.
Handling Rejection. Rejection comes with the sales territory, but that doesn’t mean it’s a feeling welcomed by salespeople. When this happens, those lacking EI may get stressed or upset by the rejection, whereas those with a beneficial EI level are able to look at the situation and understand that that “no” is directed toward their sales offer, not at them personally.
Potential Leadership. Sales managers with higher emotional intelligence can be a benefit to their sales team by being supportive and empathetic—behaviors that are easy with emotional intelligence—and by being able to tell when team members are stressed or pressured, so that they may reach out and help those team members.
Sales is a field that isn’t meant for everyone. Being able to sell someone on a product or service is necessary, but it can’t be the only ingredient in the makings of a good salesperson. People are a part of almost all aspects of business, and emotional intelligence is the key to effectively communicating with people.