My first job out of college was selling long distance to businesses after the “Baby Bell” companies broke up in the mid 80’s. It was a hard-core sales experience. Cold calling businesses out of the phone book at a rate of 100 per day, making at least five appointments per week and closing at least 4 new clients per month.
If I met my goals and numbers, all was well. But if I missed my numbers, there was a sure threat of getting fired. I didn’t like sales. Thank God I had a marketing degree, because that meant that I would “never have to sell again!”
Boy, was I wrong. Selling was everywhere and if I was going to be successful in marketing, selling was going to be a part of my life. That’s when I made the decision to look at sales from a different perspective. But I was afraid of doing it wrong, getting rejected and failing.
If you’re like me, and have had more than your share of sales training, you will really appreciate the book I’m going to share with you today, Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success : Connect with Customers and Get Results  by Colleen Stanley. I received a review copy and was drawn to the connection between Emotional Intelligence and sales success.
What Did Colleen Stanley See That We’ve Been Missing?
Colleen Stanley (@EiSelling ) is the President of SalesLeadership Inc., a leading sales consulting firm that specializes in emotional intelligence and consultative sales skills training. She watched hundreds of role-playing scenarios where students aced the exercises, and then threw everything out the window when they sat in front of an aggressive prospect. So what happened seemed to have created this divide between knowing what to do and then actually doing it. It seems that the answer is emotional intelligence.
According to the author, emotional intelligence is rarely taught to salespeople. Most training focuses on hard skills and while all training mentions the softer skills such as rapport building and empathy, these skills are taught as part of a process where the focus is more on the process than it is on the prospect.
This is the element that I feel sets this book apart from every other sales book. While you will learn step-by-step processes. The goal is to get you to tune into the prospect and what matters to them, rather than your objective of making the sale.
Selling the Emotionally Intelligent Way
This book is written in two main parts:
Part 1: The What, Why and How of Emotional Intelligence and Sales Results. The goal of this section is to help you see the connection between emotional intelligence and sales success. The author also covers the brain science behind how buying and selling is done and leaves you convinced that this is a skill you must master if you want to be successful.
Part 2: Emotional Intelligence and the Sales Process. This is truly the meat of the book. It begins with a bang – “Prospecting: The Real Reason for Empty Sales Pipelines” and moves through helping you build your likeability factor, teaching you how to connect with the prospect on their terms. Ultimately guiding you toward mastery of being your best self by connecting with your prospect and contributing to their business, rather than just selling goods and services.
Will This Book Make You Millions?
I know what you’re thinking, “Is this what I’ve been missing?” The answer to your question is – probably not. When you read the book, you will find that you’ve been doing a lot of things right. After all, you have customers and clients. I think the real benefit of this book truly lies in its re-framing of where to put your attention during the sales process and how to more authentically connect with your customer.
Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success isn’t exactly a “how-to” book. There are steps, processes and suggestions for selling, to be sure. But this is a book that you’ll read for the insights.
You will probably notice one small tweak that you can make or a skill you can practice on your next sales call. You will NOT become brilliant overnight, but, over time, and with practice, you will certainly become masterful and being a true contribution to your customer.
Ultimately, don’t be surprised if that contribution shows up as more higher profit sales for your business.