September 23

Can Emotional Intelligence REALLY deliver sales results?


Emotional intelligence is not a new topic in business. However, there are still a lot of hard-core salespeople and sales managers that believe that hard selling skills are still the only path to consistent sales results. Case in point.

I was speaking with a sales enablement manager who was really enthused about our sales management training, which includes teaching sales leaders both the soft and hard skills of sales management. However, as we continued the conversation, she gave a big sigh. “This is great. The problem is that Bobby, our VP of Sales, views emotional intelligence skills training as soft and fluffy.”

We agreed to disqualify one another because the sales organization wasn’t open to new ways of leading and selling. And unfortunately, were likely to experience the proverbial knowing and doing gap.

Emotional intelligence skills BRIDGE the knowing and doing gap. These skills help salespeople consistently execute the right selling behaviors.

For example, sales organizations invest in a negotiation skills workshop for the sales team. However, if that training doesn’t include content around emotion management, there’s a good chance that the sales team will learn great negotiation skills---that will never be used.


Good negotiators negotiate. They lob tactics such as, “There are a lot of people looking to earn our business. Is this the best your company can do?”

This tactic can easily trigger an emotional response in a salesperson that causes them to default into overselling, defending or discounting behaviors.  A salesperson that gets emotionally derailed during a sales conversation lacks the ability to execute the knowledge or selling skills they have learned.

The knowing and doing gap.

Let’s look at another EQ skill, emotional self-awareness. Lack of self-awareness leads to lack of other awareness. I’ve observed salespeople (and myself) blowing the sales meeting in the first five minutes because of low awareness around the prospect’s communication style. 

An enthusiastic salesperson isn’t likeable to an analytical, introverted buyer. They are too energetic!

Without self-awareness, a high driving salesperson comes across too intense—and not likeable. 

That which you are not aware of you cannot change. Without self-awareness, hard-working salespeople keep making the same selling mistakes. 

Finally, let’s examine the power of empathy in opening and closing sales. Empathy is a powerful influence skill. It is the soft skill that helps salespeople tune into the emotional state of their prospects and clients.

How can salespeople think they can influence another human being if they can't demonstrate the ability to step into his or her shoes?

They can’t.

But here is the challenge.

In this fast-paced world, salespeople are rewarded for being in a hurry---not slowing down.  They conduct meeting after meeting, with no breaks in between. As a result, sales organizations have a lot of busy, harried salespeople showing up to meetings and not making an emotional connection.

Empathetic salespeople take the time to pause. They take the time to think about what the day in the life is like for this prospect, this customer, before they open up a conversation.

The reality is people can’t demonstrate empathy when they are in a hurry. 

No empathy = no connection = no trust = no sale.

Soft skills do produce hard sales results.  At the end of the day, it’s still human beings selling to human beings. 

Good Selling!

Ei Selling® is the only program that teaches both EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE SKILLS AND CONSULTATIVE SELLING SKILLS. This unique combination of skill training bridges the knowing and doing gap to achieve sustainable sales results. Join us October 12, 13, 19 & 20th for our virtual, instructor-led sales training boot camp. Enroll NOW!


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