Sent: 22-09-2010 12:03:04
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Emotional Intelligence - How to use it when selling
This is the condensed version of the series I have written for the ATC Digest about Emotional Intelligence. The full article will be appearing in the ATC Digest in the near future.
I have been talking about Emotional Intelligence, what it is, whether it is useful and how to improve it. In this article I will be looking at how it can be applied in a sales role, something that is particularly pertinent to financial advisors.
Mitch Anthony, the author of the book "Selling with Emotional Intelligence" argues that there is a very strong tie between emotions and business success in sales. He suggests that when buyers complain that a sales person is pushy, cold or indifferent, or when a prospect slams the door in your face, it is likely that the sales approach was not an emotionally intelligent one. Personally I would suggest that such a sales person is more concerned about their own needs rather than the needs of the prospective buyer. At the end of the day, the result is the same.
Anthony suggests that to overcome this problem the sales person should develop their mastery of the sales professional's five key emotional intelligence skills, namely:
- Working with others
Anthony states that he believes top producers usually display four emotional characteristics, namely:
An obvious example of the competitive urge is resourcefulness. Top producers will make the extra phone call to close the sale.
Top producers do their homework and prepare to be successful.
The most successful sales professionals have a continual desire to learn, to grow professionally and to reduce errors.
Successful people have agile minds that adjust on the fly to difficult situations or customers.
According to Anthony, these attributes play a powerful role in the success of any salesperson. Even though you may not be able to change your external circumstances, you can probably improve in at least one of these four areas. Of course, before you can change your weaknesses, you must be willing to acknowledge them, something that is easier said than done for all too many. Consequently, improving your emotional intelligence isn't necessarily an easy task, but, according to Anthony, it is well worth it. When you are able to bring all four of these elements to the table in sales situations, you will have the "critical mass" of emotional fortification you need to generate sales.
By understanding your reactions, you can then learn to sell with greater emotional intelligence. Anthony has come up with a series of guidelines to enable a salesperson to maintain their E.Q. at the high level needed for sales success:
- Monitor the signals your body is sending you. In this way you will learn to sense when your emotions are starting to call the shots.
- Take responsibility for your own emotions. Don't make others, or their behavior, responsible for how you feel or react.
- Let go of expectations that tend to result in disappointment or frustration.
- Understanding that "venting" and communicating a negative attitude or emotion dashing off an angry e-mail, for example, often create situations that you no longer control. Anthony states that this is called the "viral spiral of emotion."
- Before you blow your stack, consider the cost (including to your reputation).
- Manage your stress and find healthy outlets for it.
- Watch for mood swings. Don't let your highs get too high or your lows too low.
- Maintain your sense of humor, no matter what.
- Avoid being pessimistic.
- Monitor yourself by checking your attitude several times daily. Don't let other peoples' negative attitudes and disappointing performance infect you.
- Look out for negative self-talk. If you catch yourself being overly critical, "take your name off your enemies list."
- Think of defeat as a learning opportunity.
- Look for sources of "sustaining motivation" in your life and your career.
- Think about the emotional impact you want to have on others.
- Decide in advance upon the emotional approach you will take when times get tough.
- Prepare yourself for adversity.
- When your client says no, don't crawl into a hole. Try to find out the reason.
- Be sensitive to body language and buying signals. Focus on your client's reactions as much as on your presentation.
I go into more detail in the forthcoming ATC Digest article.
Next time, on EI & Investing
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