Emotions in business are often seen as a sign of commercial weakness but it is the one thing that enables you to directly connect with your customers. Having Emotional Intelligence gives you the ability to understand and manage not only your own emotions but the emotions of those around you. People with a high degree of emotional intelligence understand what they’re feeling, what their emotions mean and how these can affect other people.
According to Daniel Goleman an internationally known psychologist and author of ‘Emotional Intelligence’, there are five key elements:
Being self aware of your emotions allows you to be in control of the way you react to situations and keep a level head when communicating with stakeholders. Putting you in the ’emotional drivers seat’ and adapting behaviours to compliment and support the emotions and needs of your customers. Over reacting or under reacting during customer conversations will totally paint an incorrect picture and put your sales process at risk.
Leaders who regulate themselves effectively, rarely verbally attack others, make rushed decisions, stereotype and generalise or compromise their values. They are also able to identify emotional strengths and weaknesses in others and adapt their behaviour accordingly. Creating an emotional profile of your customer will allow productive communications, effective negotiations and establish the ability to close the sale.
Understanding your emotions keeps you motivated and focused on your goals. Channeling your motivation during the sales process drives confidence and a level of authenticity with your customers. Motivation promotes customer engagement and demonstrates your dedication to the customer relationship. However, not everything is smooth sailing. Every time you face a challenge, or even a failure, try to find at least one good thing about the situation.
There’s almost always something positive, if you look for it.
Empathy is very important during a sales process as it transports you into the customer’s situation to understand their point of view. Be aware of your customer’s body language; they a quite often messaging you without you knowing it. This gives you the opportunity to respond accordingly. Try to understand their feelings and always ask ‘why’ rather than creating your own reasoning which more often that know is incorrect. Empathy allows mutual conversation with an understanding rather than an opinion of the outcome.
Leaders who exhibit great social skills tend to be the best communicators. They are just as open to hearing negative feedback as they are to positive feedback. Good social skills are necessary to deal with conflict resolution and difference of opinions diplomatically. Sales processes can become highly energised with debate and sometimes frustration. Being able to communicate with an open mind, ethically and effectively can make all the difference.
I cannot emphasise enough the need to have a solid understanding of your emotions and how your actions affect the people around you. Take the time to navigate your way around customers’ emotions, their behaviours and ideas. Working on these areas will boost your confidence and propel you to success.