Wondering how to coach the soft skills needed for effective selling?
A question that I’m frequently asked is, “Can you really teach a person emotional intelligence skills?” Now, there are several questions behind this question such as:
- Can a hard-charging salesperson, sales manager, improve his/her emotional intelligence?
- Aren’t emotional intelligence skills just built into your DNA?
- Doesn’t a person possess emotional intelligence skills or not?
The good news is that soft skills, emotional intelligence skills, can be learned AND improved. It takes focus and commitment from both the sales manager and the salesperson.
Teaching and coaching emotional intelligence skills begins with the sales manager modeling emotionally intelligent skills and behaviors.
Actions speak louder than words. Your sales team learns from observing what you DO versus what you SAY.
You can start by modeling these soft skills, emotional intelligent skills. They will improve your sales team’s hard sales results.
#1. Emotionally intelligent sales managers model emotion management and self-control. When problems arise at your company---which they will---high EQ sales leaders don’t cave into temper tantrums or become a bull in a china shop. They remain calm under pressure. This ability to control emotions allows them to access their critical thinking skills, avoiding emotional fight or flight responses.
As a result, these emotionally intelligent sales leaders solve problems rather than create more problems.
Salespeople that observe their sales manager remaining cool under pressure learn how to match that same behavior when faced with sales challenges. Instead of “wigging out,” emotionally intelligent salespeople manage their emotions. Their ability to remain stable improves their ability to think, brainstorm and solve the inherent challenges that sales professionals face when conducting business.
When a salesperson is stable, he or she is able to consistently execute the right selling skills and behaviors. This consistency helps sales teams win and retain more business.
#2. Emotionally intelligent sales managers model the EQ skill of self-regard. Self-regard is defined as the ability to recognize and admit both your strengths and weaknesses. Sales managers that have developed this EQ skill don’t engage in the blame or denial game. When a mistake is made, these sales managers quickly own up to their mistakes. You’ll hear language such as, “This one is on me. I need to own this.”
Salespeople observe this behavior AND emulate this behavior. They become confident and comfortable at “owning” their successes and failures.
They take the lead from their sales manager and don’t resort to blame or excuses for not achieving sales goals.
They pick up on the sales manager’s language so you will also hear them say, “I need to own this lost opportunity. I got outsold because I didn’t take the time to fully prepare for this sales meeting.” Or, “This one is on me. I should have disqualified this opportunity because they didn’t fit our ideal client profile.”
High ownership sales cultures create accountable and responsible sales cultures. They are comprised of sales professionals that enjoy and appreciate their strengths. And at the same time, these confident sales professionals admit when they make a mistake.
They understand that if you don’t own “it” you can’t change “it.”
They own it and take action to course correct which helps them win more business and retain more clients.
Build your sales teams soft skills, emotional intelligence skills, by modeling the behaviors you expect. Your sales team is watching what you DO not what you SAY.