The Best Salespeople Possess a High Degree of Sales EQ and Sales IQ…What’s Yours?

Emotional Intelligence skill training is rarely incorporated into a sales training curriculum. Often referred to as soft skills, hard driving sales leaders avoid the word soft like the plague. After all, doesn’t the word soft imply that a salesperson won’t stand her ground or can’t negotiate tough business deals?

The short answer is no. There is a substantial amount of research showing that the best salespeople possess a high degree of Sales EQ and Sales IQ. Research conducted by the Corporate Executive Board found that highly successful salespeople are assertive. They are good at asking for what they need to create win-win partnerships. It’s important to note that assertiveness is not a hard selling skill; it is an emotional intelligence skill that helps with the execution of hard sales skills.

Emotional intelligence skills bridge the knowing and doing gap.

We live in the information age. Salespeople have access to more information, than ever before, on how to improve selling skills. And yet, most sales organizations are still struggling with the same selling challenges as twenty years ago.

For example, how many of you have seen or experienced any of the following sales scenarios?

  • Salesperson defaults to “product dumping,” even though he knows he should be asking questions not presenting solutions.
  • Discounting too soon and too often—and the salesperson just completed a negotiation skills training course.
  • Inconsistent prospecting, even though the sales pipeline and checkbook is empty.

It’s time to apply some serious reality testing.

Are the above scenarios due to lack of hard selling skills or emotional intelligence skills? It’s usually a combination of both. But most salespeople and sales managers only focus on improving hard selling skills and techniques, not soft skills, emotional intelligence skills. As a result, they end up working on the wrong end of the problem.

Most salespeople know what to do, however, when meeting with a tough prospect, emotions start running the meeting rather than effective selling and communication skills. It’s neuroscience 101. A challenging prospect can put a salesperson into survival mode, fight or flight mode. All those good selling tools learned in training or a one-on-one coaching sessions go right out the window.

How to improve your EQ — stop glorifying ‘busy’ and get some downtime.

In today’s go-go society, no one values slowing down to think and reflect. The problem is that it’s only in the downtime that a salesperson can analyze non-productive behaviors and emotions that might be causing those behaviors.

Salespeople repeat the same mistakes because they don’t take time to reflect and analyze their behavior and actions. Here’s a basic rule in life and sales: No awareness, no change, same bad sales outcomes.

Soft skills do produce hard sales results.