We all know that developing trust is one of the keys to long term sales success. Unfortunately, trust takes a big hit when a company can’t deliver on its promises, which is exactly where many companies are finding themselves these days due to persistent supply chain issues.
Successful leaders and superior performers can combat this with well-developed emotional intelligence (EQ) skills, which enable them to work well with a wide variety of people because they can respond effectively to rapidly changing conditions in the business world.
In fact, a person’s EQ may be a better predictor of sales success than intelligence (IQ), so you better know how to measure, and develop it.
Know what you’re talking about
Customers have a hard time trusting a salesperson who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Your words, actions, and demeanor all demonstrate how much you understand about your customers’ businesses, and if you can be a strategic partner.
According to the 2020 Linkedin State of Sales, 54% of customers said they would only do business with a salesperson who they considered to be a trusted advisor. If customers treat you as an “order taker”, here’s some things to work on:
- Strengthen your knowledge around your product offerings
- Understand your organization, history, service, repair, delivery, etc
- Be familiar with your competitors’ products, prices, and what differentiates you
- Study industry trends so you can speak to future possibilities
- Know your customers’ business acumen so you can speak their language
People are more likely to trust you if they can put their confidence in you. This becomes even more important if you’re selling in times of uncertainty.
Social awareness and regulation
We define EQ as the ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power of emotions to facilitate higher levels of collaboration and productivity. In other words, it’s how well you can read your and other people’s emotions so you can get things done.
Think of EQ as the multiplier for the various ways you can build trust. Even if you’ve mastered the list above, you’ll develop trust much faster if you can “read the room” than if you can’t.
Another term for this is “social awareness”, or understanding the emotional makeup of other people and how your words and actions affect others. Don’t worry if that sounds daunting. The good news is this can be learned, meaning it’s possible to learn how to regulate any emotional environment you find yourself in.
Brand, culture, and people
So how does this all relate to a company’s brand? A brand is more than just colors, fonts, and marketing. It is the ethos created by a company’s culture. And a company’s culture is created by—you guessed it—its people.
The personal impression you make on your customers is sometimes more important than your company’s brand, because people don’t deal with your company, they deal with you and the other people within your company.
While you can’t control how much trust customers place in your organization, you can control how much trust customers place in you. Ultimately it will be the consistency of your actions that determine how strong that trust becomes, and how quickly it is formed.
How to develop your EQ
A manager with a high EQ can develop stronger relationships with salespeople, allowing them to reenergize disengaged employees and ultimately reduce turnover. Likewise, salespeople with high EQs are less likely to leave a company when things get tough, because they have an easier time navigating whatever business landscape they find themselves in.
Emotional intelligence is critical to high sales performance because it allows a salesperson to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power of their own emotions during interactions with buyers.
If you need a boost developing your social skills, reading others, or regulating your own emotions—look no further than our EQ Assessment. The EQ Assessment reveals strength and gap areas relating to emotional intelligence, and offers insight into improving low competency areas.