What is emotional intelligence and how can your sales performance improve with mastering your emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence (EI) is the capacity to reason about emotions to enhance thinking (3). When EI is put at the forefront of development the interactions that you will have with prospective clients will drastically improve the F.L.O.W® of your consultative sales skills. F.L.O.W refers to: Fluid performance Leading to Outcomes We desire ®. F.L.O.W is the state of unconscious competence in the mastery process. Mastery is comprehensive knowledge or skill on a particular subject or activity to facilitate F.L.O.W. At the mastery level, you manifest F.L.O.W through fluid performance and development of your sales process. Conceptualizing emotional intelligence can be explained by developing a four-step model (4)
- Basic: an individual’s ability to perceive others emotions (4)
- Intermediate: the ability to access emotions to understand thought process (4)
- Advanced: the ability to understand emotions and emotional state (4)
- Mastery: the ability to regulate emotions to facilitate emotional and intellectual growth (4)
The basic level in mastery of EI is the ability to perceive emotions of others. This would involve nonverbal communication styles. An example of this is facial expression and how we interpret those expressions. Albert Mehrabian, Ph.D studies how our non-verbal have an impact into the message we want to convey and how it is perceived. 93% of perceived meaning is through non-verbal communication
at 55% and tonals at 38% when you’re dealing with communications of feelings and attitudes. Intermediate level of EI involves the ability to understand thought process of others. This requires a person to access emotions by uncovering needs of the client. For example, “I can tell you are frustrated by that, tell me more about that frustration”. The advanced level of EI is the ability to understand emotional knowledge. At this level a seller can label client emotions and identify shifts in emotional state. This will ensure that the seller remains aware of the client’s emotional needs throughout the sales process. Mastery, at its highest level, is the ability to consistently navigate through all levels of emotional intelligence and manage emotions. At this stage, mastery consists of managing your emotional state and the client’s to facilitate emotional growth which is manifested at a level of F.L.O.W®. In a development role, their is 4 core competencies of leadership development.
- Personal growth: developing self-awareness and knowledge of one’s internal state (1/2)
- Conceptual understanding: Developing self-regulation to manage one’s internal state (1/2)
- Feedback: motivation in emotional tendencies that facilitate goal achievement (1/2)
- Skill building: being aware of other people’s feelings, needs, and concerns through empathy (1/2)
Developing emotional intelligence is vital to sustain success in the consultative sales process. Connecting with potential clients on a deeper level will promote authenticity, trust, and rapport. Mastery level of emotional intelligence will facilitate better understanding of client needs so you can tailor your solution to fit those needs.
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Mehrabian’s Communication Study.” Changing Minds and Persuasion — How We Change What Others Think, Believe, Feel and Do, changingminds.org/explanations/behaviors/behaviors.htm
- Conger, J.A. (2004). Developing leadership capability: What’s inside the black box? Academy of Management Executive, 18,136-139.
- Goleman, D (1995). Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.
- Mayer, J.D., Salovey, E, & Caruso, D.R. (2004), Emotional intelligence: theory, findings and implications. Psychological Inquiry, 75(3), 197-215.
- Sadri, G., PhD. (2012). Emotional intelligence and leadership development. Public Personnel Management, 41(3), 535-548. Retrieved from http://library.capella.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.library.capella.edu/docview/1664817423?accountid=27965