The Power of Emotional Intelligence in Sales

For many years, emotions have not played a significant role in business and sales circles. Many people believed the best way to achieve your goals in a sales setting was to remove the emotional aspect from it completely so that you could focus solely on making a successful business. In recent years, however, experts have found that emotions can play a key role in driving sales.

This does not mean emotions should run the show entirely in the sales industry, though. Instead, it is important to focus on and develop emotional intelligence. This will allow you to be more successful, and it can also help you build stronger, longer-lasting relationships with your clients. Emotional intelligence is changing the sales industry, and you can use that change to your advantage.

Emotional Intelligence: What Is It?

Everyone experiences a range of emotions daily. Anger, joy, frustration, anxiety, excitement, and many more can all impact how we interact with and take in the world. Simply experiencing emotions, however, does not mean you have well-developed emotional intelligence. This is a skill like any other that needs time and attention to develop well.

In the simplest terms, emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, analyze, and understand your own emotions. It is a heightened sense of self-awareness that helps you to comprehend what you are feeling, why you may be feeling that way, and how those emotions are impacting your life. Having strong emotional intelligence also allows you to understand other people’s emotions and how they may influence relationships.

There are five main aspects of emotional intelligence:

  1. Self-awareness. This is simply the ability to recognize the emotions you are experiencing and how they are impacting your life.
  2. Self-regulation. This aspect of emotional intelligence has to do with self-control. If you are self-regulated, then you can remain calm and composed when facing a difficult situation.
  3. Good emotional intelligence includes understanding what motivates you to keep going and achieve your goals. Once you recognize those things, you can create an atmosphere for yourself that helps you remain motivated.
  4. This may seem counterintuitive in the sales world, but it is essential for success. When you can put yourself in another person’s shoes, you can more easily understand how they function and what their needs are.
  5. Social skills. These skills help you interact effectively with the people around you, whether that is clients or your own employees. When you have strong social skills, you can understand the needs of your clients and teams so that issues or needs can be addressed efficiently.

Emotional intelligence is an important aspect of life for anyone, but it can be particularly crucial for sales professionals. According to a survey released in 2020 of nearly 70,000 business founders, emotional intelligence is something that everyone in the sales and business industry needs.

Why Emotional Intelligence Is Important for Sales Professionals

Contrary to popular belief, emotions play a key role in finding success in the sales industry. A better understanding of yourself and your own emotions can help you develop stronger client relationships, which drives more sales. There are several ways that emotional intelligence is beneficial for those in the sales industry, but here are a few of the key reasons:

  • Better conflict management. If you are emotionally intelligent, you have a strong understanding of how emotions may impact people differently. During a high-stress conflict, emotional intelligence can help you remain calm so that you can address the problem that has arisen. Your ability to self-regulate may also help the other people involved in the conflict to remain calm.
  • Self-awareness. When you have self-awareness, you understand your own emotions and reactions to stressors. It is a great way for you to avoid conflicts and create an atmosphere for yourself and your clients that is open, calm, and productive. When you can identify patterns in your behavior, whether they are positive or negative, you will then be able to put certain practices in place to ensure they do not conflict with your professional goals.
  • Ability to adapt quickly. In the sales industry, things can change rapidly and with very little notice, which can be difficult for some people to cope with. Emotional intelligence helps you to remain aware of your own emotions throughout the day, enabling you to manage your reactions to stressful situations more easily. This means you will be able to step away momentarily to collect yourself and recenter before returning. The ability to recognize when you may need to take a quick break helps you to jump into the new plan or strategy quickly and with minimal conflict.
  • Stronger relationships. Long-lasting client relationships are an essential part of success in the sales industry. Your clients must trust you and your ability to help them achieve their goals. Emotional intelligence helps you to connect with your clients on a more personal level and show them that you are genuinely interested in helping them succeed rather than simply making a sale.

Emotional intelligence is a key aspect of success in sales. It helps you to understand yourself better, so you can create a work atmosphere that leads you to success. It also allows you to connect with your clients in a more meaningful way, which will strengthen your relationships and drive sales.

Using Emotional Intelligence to Build Customer Relationships

Relationships are a major part of success in the sales industry. If you are not able to build strong relationships with your clients, then they will not trust your ability to help them succeed. Developing your emotional intelligence will give you the skills you require to connect with your clients and build meaningful relationships.

A few ways you can achieve this include:

  • Making your clients feel appreciated. One thing that can derail a client relationship is if they feel that they are not being properly appreciated. That can make them feel angry, frustrated, or dejected. Make sure you fully acknowledge and recognize what they are contributing. Actively listening is a great way to show the people around you that you value them and appreciate the work they are doing.
  • Seeing your clients as people rather than goals. In the sales industry, it can be easy to get caught up in the idea that you need to reach all of your goals as quickly as possible so that you can set new, higher goals to achieve. Wanting to be successful is not a negative thing by itself, but it could cause you to lose sight of the humanity of your clients. Make sure clients know that you value them as people and want to help them succeed rather than just seeing them as another sale you can land. That will help you build a stronger relationship with them over time.
  • Letting your client know they have equal control. When you are negotiating a sale, it may seem like the best course of action for you to fully take control. You are the expert in the field and know the best offers or opportunities to help a client reach their goals. Unfortunately, that mindset can make clients feel like they have no control over the negotiation process. If they feel that they have no say in what is happening, they will not want to work with you. Keep conversations open-ended throughout the negotiation process so that your client knows you are working together to help them achieve their goals.
  • Telling your clients they are valued. Communication is a major part of emotional intelligence, and it can also help you be successful in the sales industry. It is crucial to keep open lines of communication with clients and team members so that everyone knows where you are in the process, but it is also important to simply let your clients know that you value them. Your goal should be to help them be successful. This lets them know you value who they are individually, and it will help you forge a stronger bond with them.
  • Emphasizing participation from everyone. Every person who participates in the negotiation or sales process plays a different role. Some may be more important early in the process, while others will be essential to closing a sale. One way to build strong relationships in the sales industry is to encourage everyone who is part of the process to engage. Regardless of the specific role they play, if everyone is engaged with the team and the process, they are more likely to feel valued and want to maintain a stronger relationship.
Illustration by Storyset

When you are in the sales industry, you are constantly forging new relationships. You build relationships with your team, with your supervisors, and with your clients. A well-developed emotional intelligence is a great tool to help you build and maintain these relationships, but it can also help drive sales.

How Emotional Intelligence Improves Sales Results

Emotions have been excluded from the business world for many years, but people are beginning to realize how beneficial they can be in the sales industry. Your emotional intelligence can help you drive sales results in several ways.

If you are emotionally intelligent, you understand your own emotions and can remain calm when difficult situations arise. That will help your clients feel welcome and respected when working with you, which will build a stronger relationship. Emotional intelligence also helps you to understand the emotions of your clients and to anticipate their needs. When you can show them that you value them as individuals as well as clients, they are more likely to trust you to suggest the best opportunities for them.

Additionally, when you can build strong relationships with your clients based on appreciation, trust, and mutual respect, then your clients will trust you to have the best interest of their business in mind. That trust will drive your sales because they believe you will not lead them astray with the products and opportunities you present to them.

Get in Touch With Shapiro Negotiations Institute to Learn More About Negotiations Training

Emotional intelligence is a skill set that must be intentionally developed over time. Being able to understand how people are feeling, what has made them feel that way, and how their emotions may be impacting their interactions with you can be extremely beneficial. Developing your emotional intelligence is a fantastic way to achieve these things and create stronger client relationships that are longer lasting. It can also help you understand yourself, better connect with your clients, and ultimately find more success in the sales industry.

The resources we offer at Shapiro Negotiations Institute can help you further develop your negotiation and sales skills by utilizing your emotional intelligence. Contact our team today to find out more about how our resources can let you master the art of negotiation and drive sales.


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