Selling

Emotional Intelligence and the Bachelor

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Ok, so I am going to make a radical admission – I have been watching this season’s Bachelor on TV and let’s just say it’s quality time spent with my wife. So, when to my pleasant surprise, I heard how Corinne was being accused of lacking in Emotional Intelligence (EI) by fellow competitor the bachelorTaylor, I thought some might be interested in truly understanding what this form of intelligence is really all about.

According to Genos International, Emotional Intelligence involves a set of skills that define how effectively you perceive, understand, reason with, and manage your own and others’ emotions. Some of the keys skills are:

1. Self Awareness

How you show up in terms of your emotions / behavior forms a huge part of how other people perceive (and feel about) you. The perception of you by others is their reality and first impressions can be lasting. You may not care and that’s ok. But if you do care, such as with family, friends and co-workers, then being tuned into your behavior and its effect on others, can serve you very well.

2. Awareness of Others

In parallel with the above, being equally mindful and sensitive to the emotions of other people can really help you connect with them. By listening better and being able to tap into their emotional cues, you can build a better rapport and be genuinely empathetic; consequently, people will be drawn to you.

3. Emotional Decision Making

Many might argue that we justify based on facts, but make decisions on emotions; think of buying a car. By taking the time to consider, not only the data/facts, but how those (including yourself) might be impacted emotionally by a decision you make, could ultimately lead to making better choices.

4. Self Management

This is the classic where something is upsetting, and do you react impulsively (typically followed by regret), or do you respond in a controlled manner and achieve the desired outcome? Taking time to consider (looking before you leap) is about taking control of the choices you make, in reasonable and responsible manner.

Emotionally intelligent behavior can be summed up as doing/saying the appropriate thing, with the appropriate person, at the appropriate time. In the case of Corrine and Taylor, this just never happened and consequently resulted in what was plain to be seen right up to the end; they couldn’t even look at each other. Everybody thought it was funny (and let’s not forget it was reality TV) but based on what we saw, who would want to spend time with either person?

Emotional Intelligent Selling

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Research conducted by Emotional Intelligent (EI) thought leaders Genos suggests that sales people who demonstrate emotionally intelligent behavior have an edge. In this study it was shown that a group of 40 sales people out performed a comparable controlled group by 12% following their developmental experience with EI (Jennings and Palmer, 2007). So how does a salesperson demonstrating emotionally intelligent behavior show up?

1. Self Awareness
How you show up and present yourself (look, demeanor, attitude, communication style, etc) to a client forms a huge part of how they perceive (and feel about) you. Know what this is as their perception of you is their reality and first impressions can be lasting.

2. Awareness of Others
Sincerely help the client get what they want to buy, rather than what you want to sell. Consequently, you will listen better, be more informed, and establish a better rapport and more likely close the deal; be genuinely empathetic.

3. Emotional Decision Making
We justify based on facts but make decisions on emotions. In most sales both are in play and often we over emphasize the facts and forget about the emotions. Take time to consider how those impacted by what you have to offer really feel about it and you might be surprised with the answer you get.

4. Self Management
Inevitably in sales you are going to meet with disappointment. Don’t let this show in front of potential clients. You can manage these emotions and maintain a positive disposition at all times; remain resilient.

Emotionally intelligent behavior can be summed up as doing the appropriate thing with the appropriate person at the appropriate time. In fact some would suggest that EI might be a better predictor of sales success than experience, knowledge or personality. This is not to say that these are not important but more that Emotional Intelligence should not be overlooked.

The Pillars of Influence

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In a recent article by Ken Cook, author of “How to Who – Selling Personified”, he described what is involved in the selling process. Ultimately selling is simply about trying to influence somebody into doing something that serves you and, assuming you are not the stereotypical car sales person type, the customer as well. Cook’s theory revolves around four pillars of selling:

  • Awareness – understanding of what client wants
  • Comprehension – of what is being offered
  • Conviction – that what is being offered can satisfy what is being sought
  • Commitment – emotionally and/or financially vested to make a decision

This led me to think of a broader possible use and that these very four pillars could have an impact in many aspects of our lives. When you think of a coach with a client, a teacher with a student, a boss with a report, or a parent with a child, this holds a universal application.

For illustrative purposes, let’s assess each with regards to a coach working with a client. Awareness is key relative to what the client is looking to achieve or what a successful outcome might look like. Comprehension becomes the role of the coach is helping to bring clarity around how the process might help achieve the outcome. Conviction is assessed through the questions asked, the answers given and ultimately, commitment comes from the quality of action taken.

So as you think about an activity you are about to undertake but that you need influence other people to follow you on that path, consider these four pillars and try putting them into practice.

The Ideal Selling Approach

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The ideal selling experience is characterized by appropriate Preparation, Execution and Delivery. These three legs of the sales stool are equally critical and often too much emphasis is placed on one which can jeopardize the whole opportunity. Let’s look at each:

Preparation

Notwithstanding the obvious in terms of punctuality, appearance and relevant collateral materials, this also has a lot to do with the psychological mindset of the salesperson going into meetings with potential customers. Consider approaching this process in a “coach” like manner. Yes you have to present what you sell but the emphasis needs to switch quickly to seeing this as an opportunity to help your potential client identify and get they want? What do you they need, what are their challenges and what would success look like? The key is to authentically coach a potential client that hopefully results in their purchasing your product or service, because they need it; prepare from the client’s perspective. Read more

Emotions & Selling

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Recent research conducted by Genos and Quantas Airlines suggests that sales people who demonstrate emotionally intelligent behavior have an edge. In this study it was shown that a group of 40 sales people out performed a comparable controlled group by 12% following their developmental experience with EI (Jennings and Palmer, 2007). So what does a salesperson do who demonstrates emotionally intelligent behavior?

The following is a sample of 4 skills and associated behaviors that can enhance any selling process.

1. Self Awareness

How you show up and present yourself (look, demeanor, attitude, communication style, etc) to a client forms a huge part of how they perceive (and feel about) you. Make it good because their perception of you is their reality. Be very mindful of how you come across. Read more

Selling To Your Boss

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Selling is regarded as the remit of salespeople and many would admit that they hate to sell. This of course is due to the fact that there is a popular perception that selling is about trying to get somebody to purchase something they do not want. Of course the successful salespeople would tell you that selling is very simply all about solving a problem or addressing a need. You are just trying to present them with an option to help them succeed. When you think of it in those simple terms, in reality, most of us are actually selling something all the time. Read more

Promoting Your Business

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Chet Holmes, author of The Ultimate Selling Machine, speaks about some pretty astounding statistics when it comes to selling. He claims that in most cases 3% of people are in the market for your product and that maybe another 7% might be open. The other 90% is not in the market at this time.

This is pretty scary and you might rightfully wonder how are you going to even find that 10%, let alone the 3% who want your product? The answer lies in you ability to communicate your message in such a compelling way that even those within the 90% become interested in what you have to sell, thus making your likelihood of success far greater. Read more