One of the biggest factors that determines your sales success often flies completely under the radar.
Salespeople seldom focus on it. It’s one of those characteristics that lurks in the background, but ultimately looms large.
We’re talking about emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage your own emotions as well as the emotions of others.
This is important, because (as you should know) people buy based on emotions, not logic. So when you understand how to manage and drive the emotions of your prospects – as well as temper your own – you can make a lot more sales.
Today we’ll talk about how you can increase your emotional intelligence so you can up your sales game.
1. Practice Meditation
Some people think of meditation as some mystical practice during which you get your brain to zone out. It’s actually just the opposite.
Meditation is the practice of bringing your awareness to the here and now. To keep your mind from wandering so you can remain in the present.
This presence and awareness will help you when dealing with prospects. It can help you gain a deeper understanding of where they’re coming from. It can also reduce impulsiveness, and instill a sense of patience that can improve your reactions and responses during sales conversations.
And of course, meditation can reduce stress and negativity. That means more confidence, shorter slumps, and a better overall mindset.
2. Develop Empathy
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and imagine the world through their eyes.
As we’ve mentioned before, empathy is critical for sales call success. It’s also an essential element of increasing your emotional intelligence.
Here are some tips for developing empathy:
- Ask questions geared towards understanding your prospect’s situation.
- Picture yourself in their position by asking yourself questions like, “What emotions are this person experiencing right now?”, “What do those emotions feel like if I experience them?”, and “Have I ever been in a similar situation? How did I feel?”.
- Actively listen and don’t come into the sales call with assumptions.
3. Note Your Own Emotional Reactions
Take note of your emotional reactions throughout the day. When you’re conscious of your emotional reactions you can become engaged in trying to improve them.
How do you feel when you wake up and before you go to sleep? What emotions spike when something good happens, and which ones spike when something bad happens? What can you do to maintain the good reactions, and temper the bad ones?
Acknowledging how you feel and react to stimuli throughout the day will help you be more in tune with your own emotions, and in turn increase your emotional intelligence.
4. Practice Being Open-Minded
Narrow-minded people often judge others. But when you judge other people (even if you don’t say it out loud), you signal that you have low emotional intelligence and understanding of others.
When someone feels like you’re judging them, it’s very difficult for them to trust you, nevermind buy something from you.
Sales come from understanding people’s wants and needs, and presenting a genuine solution to them. That requires a willingness to listen, understand, and problem solve.
Here are some tips to become more open-minded:
- Listen to debates and carefully consider both sides of an argument instead of making quick judgments.
- Understand that two people can view the same situation differently.
- When someone reacts differently to a situation than you would have, consider their point of view.
5. Consider Your Workspace
Your work-space can be a reflection of what’s going on in your head. And vice versa. That’s why it’s important to create a space that is conducive to calm and positivity. Reduce the clutter around you to reduce emotional clutter. Carve out a space where you can be comfortable and confident.
This can help you stay out of your own head, and more focused on the people you’re selling to.
Emotional intelligence is key on the sales playing field. Those who have it can build more trust and rapport with their prospects, and in turn make more sales than those who lack sufficient emotional intelligence.
The good part is that emotional intelligence can be learned. The strategies we’ve listed here are a great start!