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Selling is a stressful occupation, and when things aren’t going well – perhaps because of a poor local economy, competitive pressures, problems at the customer’s end, or a host of other reasons – is when salespeople need to be at their best. Too often, though, emotions run high and begin to rule actions.
This is when prices are needlessly discounted, proposals are written for new contacts that haven’t yet been qualified, or the opportunity to sell simply disappears. When salespeople lose the emotional ability to control meetings, it is clear that the sales team would benefit from an emotional intelligence workshop that will ignite sales.
The sooner that management are able to observe the need for an emotional intelligence workshop, the more significant the impact could be (though it is never too late). Some people recognize emotional intelligence as ‘maturity’, but it is a set of skills that can be learned.
Fortunately, there are five clear signs that people are suffering from a shortfall in their emotional intelligence.
1. Playing the blame game
Salespeople who blame others for poor results, no sales, or the ‘need’ to discount heavily to sell. Comments such as the following are commonplace when the blame game is being played:
2. Silent and stormy
Mood swings are commonplace among those who aren’t self-aware and are unable to self-regulate their emotional response. Emotions are either locked away while the salesperson stays tight-lipped, or are released in a volcano of outburst (often resulting in things being said that are later regretted).
Defensiveness is often most evident when the person is being criticized. The criticized person is unable to accept criticism in the way it is intended, but instead criticism is taken as having a personal motivation. An emotional intelligence workshop is especially good at tackling this, with the unfounded feeling of fear of being attacked personally highlighted in role-play situations.
4. An arrogant approach to the bigger picture
The feeling of self-importance or being untouchable is often displayed verbally, and usually in a team context:
5. What is heard is not what was intended to be communicated
Individuals and teams that would benefit from an emotional intelligence workshop often mistake the meaning of communications. This is close to the over-defensiveness noted above. When teams hear only the negative, it is definitely time to tackle shortcomings in emotional intelligence.
Teams who are always fighting fires, or reacting to events ‘beyond their control’ – never proactive but always reactive – are in desperate need of learning emotional intelligence and reaping the benefits. In the next article, we’ll look how emotional training activities can help avoid the common pitfalls of sales.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Primeast: we’ll be happy to help.
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