Business is not divorced from emotion. This is why Jeb Blount’s Sales E.Q. was, by no means, a light read, but an important one that I persevered through. By nature, everything we do in our lives is an emotional response. Every interaction with another being is determined by Emotional Quotient (EQ), and the sales process is no exception.
I’d like to thank my friend, Praveen Rawal from Steelcase, for introducing me to this great read about how we leverage EQ to our advantage in interactions. I’ve been studying what Jeb calls the ‘emotional contagion’ – that elusive automatic response we share subconsciously, causing us to mirror perspectives. Getting this response to work for you is the essence of Sales E.Q.
The book largely elaborates upon how differently ultra high performers operate from the average sales people. What I especially liked was how Jeb related each of these qualities with a quote by some of my favourite authors. Here are the 5 quotes that stayed with me, long after I finished reading.
- “Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.”
—Anne Morrow Lindbergh
The key to communicating well is quality listening. Most times when we pitch, we assume we must take centrestage but good “salesmen” are secure enough to put their buyers under the spotlight and listen to them.
- “You can’t argue with the brain: it wants what it wants what it wants.”
—Dr. Katherine Ramsland
The corollary of this is that the brain doesn’t want what it doesn’t want. In Jeb’s words, “As soon as you start pitching, your ears are turned off as well as your buyers’.” The only way to get past this barrier is by correctly profiling and treating the different stakeholders accordingly. This is where Sales E.Q. shines as a guide to selling effectively.
- “Desire is the starting point of all achievement – not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.”
Appealing to the stakeholder’s subconscious has been our reality since the beginning of advertising. This is the part which makes me the most optimistic about our future too – that burning human desire to shine is all we need to succeed. What sustains us over the long term is the passion that insulates us from seemingly challenging situations.
- “You should never allow someone else to dictate your sales process.”
Just like the stakeholders, we as sellers are different by nature too. I like the idea of setting our own rules without being swayed by someone else’s rhythm and tenor. This emotional control that Jeb emphasises on got me naturally drawn to the book.
- “The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.”
–John C Maxwell
This is extremely personal. Because just the way I set my goals annually, I set them each quarter and every week. It helps me remember what’s most important to me so I prioritise my agenda according to what I want most. Because you see, “Desire is the-“ … you know how it goes.