Emotional Intelligence for Sales Professionals

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Pharm. Sesan Kareem

The bedrock of building a successful, enduring, and large company is sales. Why do business leaders seek new investment? To build assets that will solve a problem and create sales revenue. Why do entrepreneurs hire new staff? To bring in new talents to directly contribute to sales, or indirectly through operations, or finance. Why do business managers create a business plan or strategic plan? To find the most cost-effective ways to create value for their target market and earn revenue.

Successful, enduring and sustainable companies are those that have mastered the science and art of selling with kindness.

As we plan for 2023, improving the emotional intelligence of our field force is required, not just necessary, to achieve your business goals and objectives for 2023. To create short and long-term sales success, CEOs must deliberately invest in improving the self-awareness, self-management, and social skills of their employees, especially sales professionals.

Why Emotional Intelligence?

A relationship between the sales professional and the customer is the bedrock of sales. At our emotional intelligence training, I often reiterate to participants that emotions act as signals to engage or disengage. This occurs for our own experience of emotion.

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There are days you wake up and feel, “I want to meet everybody I can talk to today.” Other days, you wake up and feel frustrated or stressed and you’re like, “I don’t like to talk to anyone today.” However, as a sales professional, you must not allow your feelings to dictate your actions.

What is fascinating about emotions is that we’re observing the world around us every day. We are noticing our customers’ body language, voices, vocal tones, and facial expressions. What studies have shown us is that individuals who display a lot of unpleasant emotions are sending signals not to engage. On the flip side, those who display pleasant emotions are sending positive signals for people to engage them. As a sales professional, you must send the right signal for people to engage with you.

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When it comes to our customers, they may be displaying a lot of unpleasant emotions because of the tough times the world has been in. They may feel anxious, stressed, frustrated, or act inappropriately. I hope that, in this case, you will see that as a signal to engage – because what is beneath that behaviour is a need that is not met. To get the best out of your prospect, you must engage them even at their lowest point.

As someone who has worked in the field as a sales manager, I strongly believe that for sales managers to get the best from their team, they also need the skill to identify, understand and manage their sales representatives’ emotions regularly. Working as a salesperson in the field can drain people emotionally, due to rejection, disappointment and attitude sales people face on a daily basis in seeking business relationship and maintaining existing business relationships. In addition, the key to a successful relationship between a sales leader and his or her team is emotional intelligence.

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In conclusion, I would like to offer you a simple exercise. Over the next few days, take a moment and just think about the different customers that you serve. Write their names down, and just jot down the first feeling that comes to mind around that person. Ask yourself, does that feeling influence the way I approach that person, the way I engage that person, the way I greet that person, the way I listen to that person?

What this exercise can do is improve your self-awareness about the quality of your relationships.

 

ACTION PLAN:  Strive to intentionally slow down to be more conscious about how you feel each moment. Also, be conscious of the signals your customers are sending to you when they disengage or engage.

AFFIRMATION: I am in charge of my emotions. I am blessed and highly favoured.

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