How does it happen?
Jack is quite successful as a sales professional, even though in high school, he was, at best, a “C” student. I helped him with math, science and half the time I just let him copy my homework. I know, my bad! Especially since he wasn’t even interested in learning the course materials.
Isn’t it strange that so many people we’ve known that didn’t do that well in school, thrive when dealing with people out in the world? Why is that? Well, statistics do show that there is a limit to the growth of a person’s IQ. But there is no limit to a person’s EQ. The Emotional Quotient.
Emotional Intelligence is one of the most studied topics in the 21st century. It is said that 90% of high performers have high emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the subjective side of selling that cannot be measured like product performance.
Adele B. Lynn wrote The EQ Difference. I highly recommend her book to better understand the huge impact emotional intelligence has on our success in the workplace. Adele’s definition of EQ (Emotional Quotient) is “to manage ourselves and our relationship with others so that we may truly live our intentions.”
A big party of EQ is what Lynn refers to as self-awareness and self-control. It’s vitally important that you have “the ability to fully understand oneself and to use that information to manage emotions productively.”
Self-awareness is understanding the strengths and weaknesses you have and being conscious of when and how they come out in various situations.
For example, if you are with a customer that is doing all the talking, do you try to compete for time to say your part, or do you let the customer continue?
Do you listen intently? Or, do you formulate what you’re going to say next while the customer is talking?
What is it that gets you frustrated? Are you aware of it and how to manage it?
Lynn calls these frustrating situations, triggers. They are situations that can make us emotional, lose our calm and maybe say the wrong thing. Triggers influence emotional reactions, whether positive or negative. The key is to be aware of them so that you can be better prepared to react effectively given your desired outcome.
With strong self-awareness, we are able to understand the state of mind, situations and other factors that are likely to foreshadow undesired behavior. It is so critical for sales people to master this talent since they are in constant communication with customers and prospects.
We need to understand the view of the customer. Are they happy with us, lukewarm or cold? Can you tell? How will you adjust accordingly?
Selling is all about building trust-based relationships, understanding needs and providing the best solution for their specific need. That’s what your customers want, so you must start with your very first encounter.
Customers require excellence from their partners, and the key is in understanding what’s most important to them and then putting that first. It’s being able to manage any conflict that arises and it also means checking your ego at the door.
To succeed requires a strong emotional quotient (EQ), and self-awareness is the first step. Look in the mirror. Listen to yourself. Only then can you gain vital insights into how your customers and prospects experience you.