Social intelligence in sales is often overlooked. Previoiusly in “The Emotionally Intelligent Salesperson,” I wrote about how we as salespeople can handle our emotions for better performance. Being emotionally intelligent forms the foundation for Social Intelligence. Subsequently, its simplest definition is being able to get along well with others. Even though it’s a complex topic, I want to suggest three high-level keys to being more socially intelligent salespeople.
Social Intelligence in Sales: Humility
Humility is not about looking down on yourself. Instead, it’s having an accurate view on where you stand. That means not denying or downplaying compliments (a simple “thank you” will do!). Also, it’s not looking at yourself as greater than others. In sales, if you have exceeded your target, praise from your boss and colleagues is not undeserved. On the flipside, colleagues who have underachieved are not beneath you. In addition, they are still deserving of dignity and respect. Ultimately, humility is the recognition that no matter how much you have achieved in life, you are human. And, you are equally precious as other people.
One of the keys to being humble is being able to relate to the feelings of others. In Daniel Goleman’s book Social Intelligence, he describes how we are “hardwired to connect.” Our brains contain “mirror neurons” which enable us to mimic the gestures and feelings others display. The more attention we pay to our clients’ and colleagues’ emotions, the greater our empathy and sales results will be.
Social Intelligence in Sales: Savvy
Charismatic people know how to work a crowd and influence people. In addition, they make others feel important. They are able to do so sincerely through their own humility. Because they have highly attuned empathy, they can sense how another person feels and how to lift their spirits. While charisma seems to come more naturally to others, we can all become savvier by learning more about human nature. (I suggest picking up a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People as a start!). The summation of this book and many others is this: make people feel important.
Social Intelligence in sales means having a realistic view of ourselves. In addition, it’s attuning ourselves to others’ emotions. Finally, it means knowing how to make people feel important. Understanding and getting along with people is important in any profession. It’s more so in sales where our principle role is persuasion. Why not start improving your social intelligence today?
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