September 8

How To Coach The Soft Skills Needed For Effective Selling – Part 2

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Last week, I focused on the importance of modeling emotional intelligence as a sales leader. This week’s focus will be on how to incorporate specific coaching questions during one-on-one coaching sessions that will improve your sales team’s emotional intelligence skills.

The focus of most one-on-one coaching sessions is on reviewing sales numbers and the sales forecast. Or, teaching and coaching the hard skills of sales, consultative selling skills. Little time, if any, is invested on coaching and developing the salesperson’s soft skills, emotional intelligence skills.

Teach and coach both the soft skills, emotional intelligence skills, and hard skills, consultative selling skills.


Why do sales leaders fail to teach and coach soft skills? A common reason is that soft skills, emotional intelligence skills, seem so intangible. Let’s bridge this knowing and doing gap by incorporating tangible coaching questions into your next one-on-one coaching session.

When you are pre-briefing an upcoming sales meeting, ask the following questions to ensure that your salesperson is “emotionally” ready for a sales conversation.

  1. “What specific EQ strategies will you apply in order to manage your emotions when the prospect starts negotiating for a lower price?”
  2. “Share with me how you will use your assertiveness skills to ask for and gain meetings with other key decision makers?”
  3. “What is a statement the prospect might say could emotionally trigger you into presenting solutions too soon?”  

Apply the same practice when you are debriefing sales calls with your sales team.

These EQ coaching questions are geared towards discovering whether or not the salesperson demonstrated emotional intelligence during a sales meeting. 

  1. “Where and how did you demonstrate empathy during this sales call? What did that sound like? How did it change the outcome of the sales meeting?”
  2. “How did applying delayed gratification skills impact the success of this sales meeting? Are there any areas where instant gratification got in the way of conducting a successful meeting?”  I.e., Not investing enough time in pre-call planning.
  3. “When the prospect threw out an objection, how could reframing the objection have helped you remain calm and cool?”   I.e., An objection is great because the prospect is engaged in really making sure they are partnering with the right company.

Effective sales managers teach and coach 100 percent of the skills needed for sales success. They teach and coach both the soft skills, emotional intelligence skills, and hard skills, consultative selling skills.

Good Selling!


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