The Emotionally Intelligent Salesperson

by | Mar 16, 2016

In his book “Emotional Intelligence,” Daniel Goleman puts forward a compelling case that this type of intellect is far better at predicting success than IQ. With the turbulence of emotions salespeople experience every day, it would pay generously (literally!) for us to become familiar and apply the concepts to our practice. Today I’m going to share how you can be an emotionally intelligent salesperson.

The Emotionally Intelligent Salesperson

The emotionally intelligent salesperson knows at which times of the day they perform at their peak. In addition, they know when they are down. As a result, they schedule their workflow to accommodate. They understand when they feel the fear of rejection. They know how to overcome it. When disappointed from failures, they know how to bounce back and get back in the game. Emotionally intelligent salespeople are highly motivated intrinsically. To manage our emotions better, I recommend the three I’s of emotional management:

Emotionally Intelligent Salesperson step #1: Identification

The first step is commonly known as “Mindfulness.” Identification is being able to look at ourselves from an external point of view. As a result, we can identify the emotions we are experiencing. The act of separating our thoughts from what we are feeling enables us to look more objectively at our situation. In addition, we can weigh up appropriate actions. An all too common example in sales is when we lose a deal. This can often cause feelings of self-doubt, rejection, and depression.

Emotionally Intelligent Salesperson step #2: Interpretation

Our emotions are heavily influenced by the way we interpret situations. In the above scenario, the negative emotions can bog us down from performing at our best. The emotionally intelligent salesperson on the other hand, understands that losing one sale does not equate to being a failure. Instead, they see it as a learning experience. In addition, they endeavour to do things differently next time. Changing the way we interpret events can significantly alter our emotional state.

Emotionally Intelligent Salesperson step #3: Intellectual Choice

Once we have identified and adjusted our interpretation of events, we are then free to make an intellectual choice for a course of action. Rather than being reactive, we become proactive. The emotionally intelligent salesperson will choose to seek counsel. In addition, they look for emotional support from the lost deal. As a result, they bounce back to continue selling rather than dwelling on the loss.


Emotional intelligence is a powerful concept which penetrates all areas of life. Its applications in sales are many, and sets the foundation for “social intelligence,” which I will write about later on. The next time you are feeling out of control emotionally, remember to Identify, Interpret, and make an Intellectual Choice to bounce back to sales success!

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