Research indicates that the more quickly and accurately a sales professional can identify and understand a customer’s emotions while also being aware of and managing his/her own emotions and behavior, the more successful the sales cycle will be—and the more sales a company produces. Perceiving and managing others’ emotions while perceiving and managing one’s own emotions are key indicators of Emotional Intelligence (EI).
The link between sales success and Emotional Intelligence has been well documented. A study by Multi-Health Systems shows that American Express sales associates with the highest sales and client satisfaction ratings also had the highest EI scores on a leading Emotional Intelligence assessment. Another study showed that when the United States Air Force developed an EI-based pre-employment screening system for recruiters, the military equivalent of sales, they saw a 92% increase in the retention rate and saved $2.7 million dollars. These examples illustrate two important uses for a scientifically-validated EI instrument: 1) creating a success profile for sales staff and 2) getting the right person in the right job once a profile has been created.
How does EI influence a sales associate’s ability to be successful? Reality Testing—the ability to size up a situation realistically—is a key component of star sales performers. The more accurately an associate reads the customer, the better able he or she should be to adjust tone and words to customer needs. In addition, associates who are aware of their own emotions—whether they are nervous or confident, how they project themselves—have a better chance of being able to adapt to the situation. An associate who lacks assertiveness might be nice but may feel uncomfortable closing the deal. On the other hand, one who is too assertive might fail to establish customer relations, an important component in building a customer base that produces repeat sales. Someone with high decision making skills can help a customer make an informed decision, and high optimism allows him or her to hear the word no without growing discouraged.
Using a scientifically-validated EI assessment like the EQ-i 2.0 can take the guesswork out of which EI dimensions lead to success in a particular company and position. Earlier, we mentioned the Air Force pre-employment screening system for recruiting. As Henry (Dick) Thompson, Ph.D., CEO of High Performing Systems, points out, “Emotional Intelligence is situationally specific. By this I mean that overall EI is a good general predictor of success, but the more powerful predictor is the specific combination of EI components for a specific type of job. This is what determines success.”
Success profiles identify specific dimensions that predict success in a particular position and company. They help make sure companies get the right person in the right job but also let them know which development areas to focus on in coaching, as well as training and development. One benefit of using the EQ-i 2.0 in sales is that return on investment (ROI) can be measured and tested against the success profile. As a result, sales ROI can help determine the effectiveness of training and coaching initiatives.
The consultants at High Performing Systems use the EQ-i 2.0 for coaching, leader development and creating success profiles. The EQ-i 2.0 allows us to
- Create a success profile for each position
- Target individual associate development areas
- Help clients hire the best-fit candidate for vacant positions
- Reduce screening expenses
- Improve the bottom line
For more than a decade, High Performing Systems has used the EQ-i family of assessments with thousands of participants and has been a leading provider of EQ-i certification since 2005. In addition, HPS works with clients to create success profiles for various roles, including sales. By identifying which specific EQ-i Subscales predict success, we help our clients hire the best-fit candidate for any position or team.
To learn more about Emotional Intelligence or about the EQ-i 2.0 specifically, including how to become certified, contact HPS, Inc., at 706-769-5836/800-535-8445 or visit http://hpsys.com/Emotional_Intelligence.htm.
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