January 19, 2018

At Asher Strategies, we are leading a renewed charge towards emotional selling and using emotional intelligence (EQ) for sales success. The evidence is just overwhelming; appealing to the intellect alone is a limited approach, even in B2B or government sales.

We are not alone in reviving this concept, nor were we the first to emphasize it in our sales training. But we are constantly working to further codify and distill the latest research in order to present the concept of emotional intelligence as clearly as possible.

To that end, I will describe the four levels of emotional intelligence for sales success. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is aided by the Advanced Personality Questionnaire (APQ), which permits self-assessment of personality strengths and weaknesses.

Basic EQ Level 1.0: Self Awareness

The first level of EQ is knowing about self. The APQ reveals where a person’s personality traits are strong or weak compared with others.

Professional EQ Level 2.0:  Self-Management

Self-awareness allows salespeople to modify their approach when dealing with different personality types to compensate for areas of weakness. This creates a stronger appeal to buyers’ “old” emotional brains. An example would be someone who naturally lacks empathy deliberately trying to create rapport and relate to the buyer, whereas they might have avoided that as a “waste of time” previously.

Sales EQ Level 3.0: Role Management

The APQ might show that someone’s personality isn’t a fit for the job role under consideration. Outside sales requires go-getters; inside sales requires nurturers. Mismatches cause trouble, so knowing one’s traits can lead to a more appropriate position.

Influencer EQ Level 4.0: Relationship Management

At this level of EQ, relationships with fellow employees and buyers can improve as one s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s aspects of one’s personality to better match others, rather than stay fixed and unyielding. The old brain is biased toward personalities which match itself and rejects those which diverge too much, so this can help smooth out interpersonal relationships.

Why EQ matters

As people make decisions emotionally, it makes sense for salespeople to cater to the emotional brain when dealing with buyers (and anyone else for that matter). Without understanding your own personality, however, it is hard to understand how other people perceive you.

It’s not uncommon to think one is being very friendly or helpful, but in truth displaying a lack of empathy or even hostility to personalities sensitive to these traits. Using emotional intelligence (EQ) for sales success requires knowing who you are so you avoid these negative perceptions and get buyers on your side.

If you understand this, you understand why sometimes the most unlikely, seemingly unprepared, and “unattractive” salesperson sells more than the carefully groomed, slick-talking one. The first one simply makes better personal connections which flood the old brain with positive feelings, while the second cannot relate despite a better first impression.

If you find sales to be a hard slog, perhaps you simply need to develop your EQ for sales success. The solution is to first find out about what makes you tick through the APQ, and then put into practice the 4 levels of EQ above.

Need help with any of this? That’s what we are here for. Contact us any time.