Emotional Intelligence: A Key Ingredient to Mastering Sales Competencies

Dr. Purushothaman
January 13, 2014


I have been in the sales profession for over 40 years. During that time, I've held many roles, from working as a sales person at JC Penney to owning my own companies. Like many who have had success in this field, we've started our own companies. One of the best parts of building my business has been my association with Objective Management Group. The reason is simple. OMG developed a list of 21 sales competencies and 240 behaviors that if measured and developed, can improve the performance of most sales people and sales leaders.
One of the most important selling competencies OMG discovered from assessments is "Becoming Emotionally Involved." Beginning in 1990, the term and definition of Emotional Intelligence (EI), or becoming emotionally involved, began to gain the respect it deserves today. So why is Emotional Intelligence relevant to those of us in the sales profession? It's relevant because it's one of the most important foundational skills/ competencies needed to improving sales results. By improving your Emotional Intelligence (wisdom), you dramatically improve your selling success; EI also impacts the majority of the 21 Sales Competencies. By mastering the Sales Competency called Emotional Intelligence, you can improve these specific Sales Competencies: Goals, Has a Positive Attitude, Takes Responsibility, Strong Self Confidence, Does Not Need Approval, Recovers From Rejection, Attitude, Comfortable Talking About Money, Supportive Buy Cycle, Reaches Decision Makers, Effective Listening & Questioning, Uncovers Actual Budgets, Early Bonding & Rapport, Discovering Why Prospects Buy, Qualifies Quotes & Proposals, and Gets Commitments & Decisions.
The question then is why don't more sales organizations concentrate on improving this one critical area of sales development? My own research indicates it's because many organizations don't understand two things. First, they don't know how to correctly measure and improve this critical selling strength. Second, most organizations don't know the importance of Emotional Intelligence on sales results. To correct this, organizations must first measure this selling strength using a valid instrument. We use an assessment from Target Training International and pair this to the reasons why your sales force comes to work and how do they do what they do. We look at five areas of Emotional Intelligence and compare the results to the mean and standard deviation in areas such as self awareness, self regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
By looking at just one of the five areas of Emotional Intelligence, self awareness, you begin to realize the impact of how important just this one area of EI plays in improving sales success. For instance, how many sales organizations can say with confidence that their team members can recognize their emotions in the moment and the consequence those emotions have on all the 21 sales competencies? Emotions such as annoyed, anxious, bored, cautious, confused, disappointed, exhausted, frustrated, hopeful, lonely, miserable, puzzled, relieved, sad, sorry, undecided, and withdrawn all impact sales results. Plus, this list of emotions is just a few of the 70 or more emotions that can impact sales results. Do your sales team members know which emotions are positive and which are negative? Do they know how to recognize their emotions and how each one impacts their choices in the moment they occur? Do they have a plan in place to correct the feelings from these emotions and the results they create? Experience indicates very few sales organizations understand the role these five areas of EI play in the sales process. Recently, many leading organizations have begun to recruit, measure, and improve this one vital sales competency of "Being Emotionally Involved." The results are indisputable.
What are you doing today to correct the "Emotional Intelligence "deficiency within your sales organization?

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