Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success

Connect with Customers and Get Results

 Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success

Author: Colleen Stanley
Pub Date: November 2012
Print Edition: $17.95
Print ISBN: 9780814430293
Page Count: 224
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814430309

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There is a Buddhist proverb that states, ?When the student is

ready, the teacher appears.? And luckily for me, the team from

Complete Intelligence, LLC, Marty Lassen and Scott Halford,

showed up as my teachers and helped me discover the answer to

this nagging question. Lassen and Halford are experts in emotional

intelligence and work with executives and managers, showing them

how to incorporate emotional intelligence skills into their personal

and professional roles.

Emotional intelligence skills are rarely taught to salespeople.

Most training is focused on hard sales skills such as finding new

opportunities, negotiation, or closing tactics. There is little attention

placed on soft skills such as empathy, rapport, and self-confidence.

Even less on teaching salespeople how to manage their emotions

and the emotions of others in order to achieve the sales results they


Some salespeople are good at posing questions to prospects. But

if they lack the emotional intelligence skill of empathy, they don?t

communicate the all-important message, ?I really feel your pain and

I do care.? Despite the good questions they ask, prospects don?t

connect with them. They feel as if they are being interrogated

rather than meeting with a trusted advisor where a true partnership

is being forged.

Other salespeople are good at building rapport but have difficulty

building their sales pipelines. They don?t prospect consistently

because they have not developed the emotional intelligence skill of

delayed gratification. Rather than take the time to strategize and

develop a pursuit plan, they give in to the pull of instant gratification

and focus on what is easy instead of what is effective. Proactive

business development is put off with the excuse, ?I?ll do the sales

activity when I have time.? Their wonderful rapport skills are

wasted because they have few, if any, appointments on the calendar.

Still others excel at prospecting, but once they are sitting in a

meeting, facing a sophisticated C-level buyer, they lack the emotional

intelligence skill of self-confidence to close the business at full

margin. Under pressure, they quickly cave into negotiation tactics.

Emotions take control of the sales meeting rather than tapping into

their selling skills, logic, and intellect.

All of these scenarios demonstrate how mastering a variety of

emotional intelligence skills can make a huge impact on a person?s

sales results. After many meetings with Lassen and Halford, coupled

with my years of sales and sales management experience, I

became convinced that lack of emotional intelligence skills training

is a key reason that sales professionals often don?t close the gap

between knowing and doing. Most sales professionals know what

to do. So why aren?t they doing it?

Like many of you, I?ve enjoyed a great deal of success in sales.

However, I have also fallen short when it comes to mastering my

own emotional intelligence skills. Sometimes my high independence

prevented me from asking other people for their help, input, or perspective.

I missed out on the wisdom of others that could have provided

shortcuts to my goal or prevented mistakes. At other times,

my lack of impulse control caused me to make decisions too

quickly and say ?yes? to things I shouldn?t have. Digging out of

those ?impulse decision holes? has created stress and heartburn for

me over the years. I didn?t understand the power of the emotional

intelligence skill of self-awareness, so I never set aside downtime to

accurately assess why the same sales or leadership problems kept

appearing in my life.

Perhaps you have experienced the same issues. After reading

this book and putting its principles into action, you will quickly

discover that soft skills do produce hard sales results.

My Career in Sales

My first exposure to sales was through Jazzercise, a dance fitness

company based out of Carlsbad, California. I owned three franchises

and quickly learned how to sell and market in order to fill the gymnasium

with paying students. I did everything imaginable to bring in

business, from hiring my neighbor?s kids to stuff flyers in mailboxes

to creating a speakers bureau. (Never mind that it was a bureau comprised

of one speaker?me!) I delivered talks on fitness and nutrition

to anyone who would listen, with the goal of converting audience

members into paying clients.

My efforts paid off and my success in building the business

landed me a place on the national training team for Jazzercise. I went

around the country teaching new instructors how to start and grow

their businesses. This was my first exposure to teaching and is where

I learned that I had a love and talent for it.

From there, I had the good fortune to join Varsity Spirit Corporation,

a small firm based in Memphis, Tennessee, that both

manufactures cheerleading uniforms and conducts hundreds of

cheerleading and dance camps and events across the country. The

timing was right, as Varsity was just starting to build a direct sales

force. This company gave many people incredible opportunities for

growth, and fortunately for me, I was one of the recipients.

I started in the field as a sales rep and moved up the corporate

ladder to become Vice President of Sales, directing a national team

of 130. During my ten years at Varsity, we grew from $8M to

$90M, went public, and were named by Forbes magazine as one of

the 200 fastest growing companies in the United States. Varsity is

still growing and very successful, now the largest company in the


After this great opportunity, I pursued teaching and training

sales and sales management professionals full time, and have been

doing that for the last fourteen years. We get hired to ?grow? three

things: sales, profits, and happiness. Although my firm works with

a variety of clients and industries, our customers all have three values

in common:

1. They value education and outside advice.

2. They value and invest in their greatest asset, their


3. They treat their vendors like partners.

I am very fortunate to work with great customers.

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