Emotional intelligence, or the ability to recognize and manage emotions, is a soft-skill that is often overlooked in the work environment.
Among all corporate departments, it is the sales team which par excellence can benefit the most from the development of this skill, since it most of all has to interact on a daily basis with customers and their emotions during business negotiations.
The book we recommend today will give you the opportunity to delve deeper into this topic and learn how to leverage emotions as a tool to improve sales performance.
The author was the VP of Varsity Spirit Corporation for 10 years, helping to make it named one of the 200 fastest growing companies by Forbes Magazine. She is an expert in training sales teams and a promoter of an approach to leadership based on emotional intelligence itself and not solely on hard skills.
In this book, Stanley is addressing all sales managers who want to learn how to harness emotional intelligence to build a high-performing sales team that can transform their own and the customer’s emotions from an obstacle to a tool for achieving business goals.
Among the main benefits of developing emotional intelligence we find:
Learning to “read” emotions is one of the most important weapons in the arsenal of salespeople, who too often: “(…) get flustered on sales calls because emotions, rather than effective sales and influence skills, start running the meeting.“
Filled with real examples from Stanley’s work experience, the book is divided into 4 sections, each devoted to an area of sales where emotional intelligence can benefit.
In the first part, the focus is on sales managers and their leadership role in the development of team skills. The training aspect is repeatedly emphasized by Stanley as a key element in improving salespeople’s performance.
In the second part, the author offers useful insights and suggestions for the selection of sales team members, outlining different salespeople profiles based on their level of emotional intelligence. One aspect defined by the author as ‘non-negotiable’ when selecting team members is the ability and inclination to learn new things, and not just to passively follow the group.
In the third part of the book, we get to the heart of the topic: the ability to recognize the client’s emotions is crucial to win the negotiation. Rather than figuring out how to counter objections, it is important to empathize with the customer’s anxieties, fears, and insecurities, learning to understand them and using language that succeeds in eliminating them and bringing them to recognize the opportunity for improvement that they will achieve as a result of our service or product.
In the fourth and final part of the book, the author again addresses sales managers, who need to be, above all, trainers for their team, not just leaders.
Too often left out of the business world, in this book Stanley explains how emotions are actually one of the determining factors, if not the most important, in closing a sales negotiation and affecting the performance of the sales team.
After all, business and work are about people, with their entirely human and often unpredictable needs and behaviors. As much as technology may be able to interpret them, it is critical that members of a sales team improve their skills in being able to read the emotions of others.