Dr Ben Palmer, CEO of Genos International, has created this article as part of our Locimo Experts series.
Customers have access to more knowledge about products and services than ever before. We’re able to research and justify our decisions without any input at all from salespeople. As a result, the role of selling and serving is changing, and its clearer than ever that emotions are key.
While we justify with logic, our purchases are based on emotion. As a result, the great sales teams of today must be in-tune with buyer needs, understand decision making, and be able to build loyalty. It’s the connection we make, how well we work through objections, and the confidence we in-still that makes a real impact on buyers. Underpinning this capacity to foster relationships and generate positive emotional experiences is Emotional Intelligence.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the set of skills that help us better perceive, understand, and manage emotions in ourselves and others.
The world economic forum has identified EI as one of the top 10 most required job skills for now and the future. Why? This science-based advantage has been proven to transform our relationships, and lead to exceptional professional and personal outcomes.
Five Ways EI can help you sell more and serve better
In sales and service, applying an understanding of emotions in customer purchasing decisions has proven to increase both performance and customer loyalty. Some people may naturally have better levels of EI than others. However, anyone in a sales or service role can improve their emotional intelligence through a specific EI development and assessment program. Those with developed EI are more capable of regulating their own emotions, adapting to situations, influencing buyers, and creating positive interactions. Here are just 5 ways EI can help:
1. Get in touch with your emotions – Emotions are contagious! Without you even realising it, your tone of voice, body language and facial expressions can inadvertently impact customer responses. EI can help you to identify how your own emotions are impacting your decisions and behaviour, and what affect this is having on your customers.
2. Read customers like a pro – Use EI to read the non-verbal emotional behaviour of customers, and display empathy. Your capacity to perceive and understand the emotions of your customers will help you better relate, communicate, and appreciate them.
3. Build trust – Emotionally intelligent salespeople are able to effectively express their views in a way that facilitates open and respectful dialogue. This is key to maintaining and developing long term customer relationships.
4. Manage your emotions – Heightened emotions like stress, uncertainty and impatience can have a big impact on customer interactions. They affect your ability to communicate authentically, understand customers perspectives, display empathy, and can sway your overall judgement of customer situations. EI equips you with the ability to regulate and manage your emotions to avoid derailing sales conversations or the level of service you provide.
5. Positively influence your customers – Influence the emotions of buyers by responding to their emotions in an effective way, breaking down resistances and building trust. EI will help you become better at dealing with conflict, and help buyers navigate internal disagreements by providing support to maintain relationships and loyalty.
About Dr Ben Palmer
Dr Palmer is the CEO of Genos International, a world leading provider of EI assessments and development programs. He has been at the forefront of providing game changing EI services to iconic global organisations such as IBM, Pfizer and Qantas. Dr Palmer completed his PhD at Swinburne University, Melbourne. He developed the first Australian model and assessment of EI specific to workplace outcomes.