Emotional Intelligence for the Salesperson
EQ or Emotional Intelligence is a term first coined by Daniel Goleman. As he points out in his book “Emotional Intelligence” the EQ is usually more important than IQ when determining how successful someone will be in life and business.
In sales the issue of emotional intelligence is even more important. In a study done by Rutgers University, L’Oreal the cosmetic company has started to factor emotional intelligence in their hiring process for salespeople. Those who were recruited for their high EQ outsold their peers by over $90,000. On top of that, the high-EQ employees had 63% less turnover than the typically selected sales people. ( Spencer & Spencer, 1993; Spencer, McClelland, & Kelner, 1997)
In another study, at a national insurance company, insurance sales agents who were weak in emotional competencies such as self-confidence, initiative, and empathy sold policies with an average premium of $54,000. Those who were very strong in at least 5 of 8 key emotional competencies sold policies worth $114,000. These studies show, emotional intelligence predicts success for people and the companies they work for.
EQ training is helpful in 3 ways.
1. Becoming conscious of negative emotional states.
- You can’t change them if you aren’t aware. When you practice mindfulness you gain control
2. Getting control over unhelpful emotions and increasing emotional resilience.
- If you have high emotional intelligence you can gain control over negative habits and create some positive ones. You will be disciplined.
- You will also be able to focus and no longer be triggered emotionally.
- Confidence, true confidence also serves as a barometer for high EQ.
3. Recognizing emotional states in others in order to improve communication and build relationships.
- Curiosity about what makes another person tick will help you here.
- Empathy is also a characteristic of the emotionally intelligent.
Sales training that includes only sales techniques is going to fall well short of the mark for training a well rounded emotionally intelligent individual. By gaining competency in the emotional realm you will gain more than any sales technique could ever give you.