The concept of emotional intelligence continues to gain traction among business sales training experts. As I have cited in previous posts, surveys and studies online point to HR professionals prioritizing applicants with higher emotional intelligence rather than traditional IQ.
But what exactly is emotional intelligence? And how do you measure it, let alone improve it?
Emotional Intelligence definition
As defined by Psychology Today, emotional intelligence is “the ability to identify and manage your own emotions.” It further explains that it includes harnessing emotions and applying them to solve problems, as well as the ability to manage or regulate them in yourself.
So, while traditional IQ measures the analytic prowess a test taker possesses, it doesn’t measure how he or she would react to or manage emotions. This is where EQ comes in. Everyone reading this can relate to knowing someone who is very smart, but doesn’t make you feel good. It’s because they lack the EQ to go along with the IQ. Fortunately, this can be fixed, as described below.
Why is EQ important?
As our Senior Trainer Kyla O’Connell explains in this short video recorded at a live business sales training, those with a high EQ out-perform and therefore out-earn those with only high IQs by a substantial amount.
As this does not jibe with what most of were taught growing up (that the super-smart people are the ones who become the most successful), I thought I would give my own explanation: human beings are emotional creatures; therefore those who can manage their emotions in have an advantage over those who try to sell purely rationally.
Here is a short video by sales trainer Pierre Guay, which gives a few pointers on how to use EQ during a sales call. Notice he pays attention to things such as body language, interest, and engagement rather than just logically presenting information.
How to measure and improve emotional intelligence
While various tests have been proffered to measure emotional intelligence, when it comes to sales people, the Advanced Personality Questionnaire is the one we recommend and administer for all our clients.
The APQ shows test takers where they are in comparison with everyone else, raising self-awareness of emotional strengths and weaknesses – especially when it comes to selling to others. In addition, there are several modules which aid in self-improvement as well as inform external coaches. It is by far the best way for those in sales roles to develop emotional intelligence and improve outcomes immediately.
Emotional intelligence is an important piece of the selling puzzle. Get a leg up on your competition by investing in APQ testing to develop EQ in your sales force, and then follow up with business sales training to inspire even more change.
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