What are the attributes of great sales professionals? One is certainly having a positive attitude which we talk about in our book Don’t Just Stand There, Sell Something. It’s the formula we call OPERA which is being Optimistic, Persistent, Enthusiastic, Resilient and Affable. Another important element is having the solid foundation of all the great sales training methodologies that are out in the market today such as how to prospect, present, ask questions and close.
It’s about developing a strategic plan and knowing how to navigate through an account and understand who the decision makers are. It’s about knowing your company’s product and service offerings and being able to come up with the right solution for your customer. Last but not least it’s having the ability to influence and build long lasting relationship by developing trust with the customer. All these are a must for having a successful career in selling.
Many companies talk about the Art and Science when it comes to selling. Art being the selling skills and Science being the process to move the sales opportunity forward. We would like to introduce you to our Sales Intelligence System. This system takes a look at the three critical components that are needed in sales today when approaching potential customers.
• IQ- the Intelligence Quotient for product knowledge, techniques and process to approach customers who have a need for a solution. The emphasis here is aptitude and the ability to know how to craft the right solution to the customer’s problem.
• EQ- the Emotional Quotient is being aware of what is going on emotionally in a meeting between all parties involved. What are the feelings with the individuals interacting? Are they positive, negative or indifferent and how can this be influenced? You can call this intuition or people skills. It’s being aware of what is going on emotionally with the decision makers.
• Personality Style- being able to understand the personality type of the customer to leverage and anticipate what is important to their temperament. We can gain insight into the person’s behavior based on the preferences of their personality style such as what they value, how they prefer to communicate and how they make decisions.
What typically happens when we interact with other is that we size up what’s happening in a conversation from our perspective. We make judgments and evaluations of the other person based on what we are like and what we prefer. Therefore if the other person is not like us we formulate an opinion that is either positive or negative and sometimes indifferent. We consider them to be warm and friendly or possibly cold and unsociable. Our perceptions of others are not always accurate since we do not consider their preferences based on their personality style, but on our own preferences which quite often can be different. Our perception will impact our emotions which is how we feel about the other person.
Our emotions will impact our behavior which will either be negative or positive, defensive or aggressive, proactive or reactive. Finally the way we behave will be directly proportional as to how the other person will behave towards us. So if we behave not that interested in the other person, they most likely will behave the same way towards us. This can all be avoided if we take into consideration that everyone is not always of the same personality style.
We believe that the only component of the Sales Intelligence System that can truly be altered is the EQ or as Dr. Michael Cox calls it People Skills and Emotional Intelligence which is the number one business skill needed today in the US. If we can better understand someone’s personality style we can improve our people skills and emotional intelligence (the EQ), which is critical in having a successful sales career. Remember that people buy from people!
If you want to better understand Emotional Intelligence we highly recommend Travis Bradberry’s book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 where he discusses the fact that emotional Intelligence is the only part of the three components that can be improved upon. We discuss and share with you how to apply personality styles to sales in our book Four People You Should Know.