OK, bear with me. This one starts off a bit technical – then it’s all practical.
EQ vs. IQ. Emotional Intelligence, or emotional quotient (EQ), is defined as an individual’s ability to identify, evaluate, control & express emotions. IQ, or intelligence quotient, is a score derived from one of several standardized tests designed to assess an individual’s intelligence.
Bottom line: EQ = Your ability to understand & relate to people. IQ = How smart you are.
What do they have in common? Nothing. Why do we discuss the two in a Sales blog? Because it makes complete sense. We all know smart people. We know smart salespeople. You may be one. That’s great. The challenge is knowing when to use your smarts – knowing when to show your IQ.
The temptation to prove how much we know is gigantic in sales. Let’s face it, when we get somebody to raise their hand & agree to meet with us (when the “hard’ part is over) the urge to talk about our company, our products & our services takes over – completely natural. Also, completely wrong in sales.
Prospects & clients do not buy from you because you are smart. As a matter of fact, that may be the reason they don’t buy from you. You’ve seen it yourself. A salesperson can’t wait to prove how much he knows. He talks on & on & on. Never asks a question. Never gets to know you let alone your challenges. It’s ridiculous.
We think to ourselves, “Wow, enough about Charlie… let’s talk about Charlie some more!”
Most companies perpetuate this problem by providing an over-abundance of “product training”. “We need to make sure our Sales Team is up to speed on the new version of the Binford 5000 Series. Get them in for a day of product training.” Happens all the time. And it works. The Sales Team leaves a hell of a lot smarter than before – & they can’t wait to prove it.
Guess what? Your competitors are providing the same product training. Making their Sales Teams smart. They can’t wait to talk about it, too. And they do. Now, you & your competitor say exactly the same things. Exactly. The prospect sees no difference in the two products. Sees no added value. You are reduced to a commodity. Prospect buys the lowest price. Sound familiar?
A vicious cycle isn’t it? Give a salesperson a chance to show her IQ & she is all over it:
Examples of IQ:
- Complete understanding of your products features & the benefits they provide
- Knowing where every screw, nut & bolt goes
- Memorizing all practical applications from previous clients
- Not only do you know the specs… you wrote the specs!
- Anything & everything technical
Let’s be crystal clear about something right here: You must have IQ & all of this knowledge in sales. It’s an entry-level requirement. Your prospect expects you to know these things. Without it, you are not even in the game!
Enter EQ. Your ability to relate to your prospects & customers. Some people call it “people skills”. That’s a great way of putting it. Show me someone who has the IQ required in sales coupled with the EQ we will discuss now & you have a rock-solid, superstar Salesperson.
Examples of EQ:
- Knowing how to read the room (head on a swivel)
- Knowing how to read between the lines (what are they really saying?)
- Knowing what’s important to people & steering the conversation that way (very important)
- Knowing who makes things happen (decision makers) & getting to them appropriately (professionally)
- Anything & everything about people & their feelings
You may not ever convince your company to stop the product training programs at your company, but you’d do well to suggest & support your Salespeople working on their people skills. Two examples: Their ability to help people be comfortable with them & understanding what motivates people, what drives them.
A wise person (named Kate Tear) said, “A person who can’t relate to the person they are selling to will never close a sale.” Truer words have never been spoken.