New business development – why emotional intelligence is so important
Emotional intelligence in sales? What is it and how does it apply to my business? This blog will give you some guidance on how you can apply the principals of emotional intelligence (EI) to attracting new clients and business.
It helps to break it down into four main categories when trying to understand it. The four main sets of skills are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.
The word ‘sales’ can often be an uncomfortable word around the office. It is often depicted as being pushy, overly ambitious and intimidating. We have all answered a call where a salesperson jumps down the line with a barrage of information that has little or no relevance to you or your business and is, quite frankly, bloody irritating.
So, how do you implement a good sales strategy without coming across as a pain? This is where EI comes into play and using Consultative Sales techniques.
If you are tasked with going out and finding new business for your company the prospect can often fell very daunting. Where do you start?
The first thing you need to understand is your potential client’s pain point. What problem do they have that you have a solution to? Consider the benefits your product or service offers. Don’t just think about the features or physical attributes. People want to know what your product or service can do for them. Think about it in terms of “This means that …… will benefit you/your company in this way.”
With this, you also need to understand who your client is. Do the research before you even start to engage with them. When it comes to a larger organisation it is also imperative to speak to the right person. There is a process someone who is looking to buy, goes through. You need to be aware of where they are in the decision process to have a successful conversation. Don’t be afraid to ask when they will be making a decision, this can help you put in place a timeframe of communication.
The buyer will spend time looking at what is available in the market. This is where you can have a significant influence in their purchasing decision. Often, people think they need to make a sale within the first call they make and close the deal then and there. This is not the case. Building a genuine relationship with your prospect is one of the most important things you can do. If you can engage with a client and firstly understand how you can help them, even if they are not ready to decide, this will stand you in good stead for the future.
Looking for alternatives is the third stage the buyer goes through in the process. If you have built a genuine relationship you are more likely to be on the short list of options. It is often thought that price is the most important element that people choose when buying. It can be quite easy to fall into the trap of discounting your service or product off the bat, thinking this will close the deal. This mistake can, in fact, cost you the deal. Discounting without understanding what your client needs can devalue your product or service and diminish the client’s perspective of you and your business. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should never offer an incentive to a customer in order for them to make the purchasing decision, but, if you do, you need to have something back in return. For example, If I do this for you, you do this for me.
So, who will they buy from, you or someone else? It is very common for people to make a purchase with the influence of other people that they trust and respect. This is where relationship management comes into play. If you are proactive in engaging with prospects and their influencers, you are more likely to close a sale. This can be done is numerous ways, having a solid marketing plan in place that gives consistent messaging to new customers, as well as shouting about the company’s successes with existing customers is essential.
Post purchase behaviour can often be the downfall of the sales relationship. People often feel that once an agreement has been made and the cash is in the bank you can wash your hands and sing happy birthday! This is the most important time in the sales cycle to remain engaged with your customer or client and keep communication lines open. This applies to both B2C and B2B relationships. There are many ways to communicate and having a good marketing strategy at this point is essential. The time and energy it takes to replace a customer or client versus repeat business is insurmountable. Research shows that the sales experience is the one thing that drives loyalty (53%) over and above company and brand impact, product and service delivery and value to price ratio (Source: The Challenger Sale, Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon).
In the current economic climate, it is more important than ever to stand out from the crowd and step up to the plate. Sales calls can be daunting but put yourself in the place of your customer. Who will I buy from? Someone who understands me and knows what I need to benefit my life or business and willing to provide a solution or, someone who doesn’t seem to care about me, and bombards me with things I don’t need?
If you would like to speak to our team about how we can support you in developing your marketing strategy, please call 01738 658187.