How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence Sales Performance

August 31, 2022

Sales is all about relationships. And strong relationships are built on trust and understanding. So it should come as no surprise that emotional intelligence sales play a big role in your success.

Think about a time when you made an important purchase, like a car or a house. Was the decision based solely on logic? Or did your emotions play into it at all? For most of us, the answer is both. We want to feel good about our purchase, and we also want to know that we’re getting a good deal.

The same goes for selling products or services. As humans, we buy things because they make us feel something – happy, relieved, excited, etc. If you can tap into those emotions and understand what your customer is feeling, you’ll be much more successful in making the sale

Emotional Intelligence Sales: How Your EQ Impacts Performance

Emotional intelligence sales is a term used to describe the ability to sell based on emotional intelligence. This means being able to understand and relate to the emotions of others, and using this understanding to close deals.

It can be a successful sales strategy because it allows the salesperson to build rapport and trust with potential customers.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

The ability to understand your own emotions and those of others is called emotional intelligence. This skill is incredibly important in professional settings, as it allows you to understand and empathize with others.

EQ, or emotional intelligence, is your ability to recognize and manage your emotions.

There are five categories of emotional intelligence skills: self-awareness, self-regulation, social skills, empathy, and motivation.

These are the building blocks of a healthy, productive approach to life and work.

Emotional intelligence has been an important part of both professional and personal development since the 1960s.

Many organizations focus on teaching their salespeople the hard skills needed to close a sale, but neglect to teach them the soft skills.

Why is Emotional Intelligence Important in Sales?

Sales professionals who are able to control their emotions during high-pressure situations tend to perform better than their peers.

To understand how emotional intelligence affects your sales, let’s examine how the 5 types of EQ impact your performance.


Being self-aware means being able to understand your own emotions, how they affect you, and your behavior.

When you are self-aware, you see yourself as others see you. You have a good sense of your own abilities and current limitations. This allows you to be more effective in your interactions with others.

While 95% of people think they are self-aware, only 10-15% of people are actually aware of themselves. This lack of self-awareness can cut the success of teams by half, causing stress, frustration, and decreased morale.

Salespeople who are self-aware are able to manage their time and energy more efficiently by being in tune with their emotions. This allows them to avoid annoying potential clients and prospects which could lead to a loss of business.

Those who have low self-awareness often struggle to bounce back from rejection, costing them valuable opportunities.

Emotional intelligence is a person’s ability to understand, manage, and regulate their own emotions as well as those of others around them.

Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is a concept that was popularized by the 1995 book of the same title which was authored by science writer Daniel Goleman. However, we are just now beginning to understand its importance in professional settings.

The 2020 World Economic Report has predicted emotional intelligence will be one of the top skills in demand by 2025.

Recent research and case studies show that emotional intelligence plays an important role in professional success:

  • EI is responsible for 58% of professional success.
  • For each percentage point increase in your emotional intelligence, you can add $1,300 to your annual income.
  • Reps with the highest emotional intelligence (EI) made twice as much money as those with lower or below-median levels.
  • In one study, salespeople who received emotional intelligence (EI) outsold their peers 12% more than those who didn’t. This equated to over $55,000 in additional revenue per sales rep. The return on investment (ROI) for emotional quotient (EQ) was $6.

However, many firms focus on developing their salespeople’s “hard” selling skills and neglect their “soft” interpersonal skills.


Working in sales can be extremely stressful and result in a lot of rejection.

When it comes to sales success, being able to use your emotions to guide you towards your goals is a vital contributor. This means being able to generate the desire to complete a task or accomplish a goal, and taking the initiative to persevere in the face of obstacles.

When faced with challenging situations, those with low emotional intelligence will often lack the incentive to rise above the situation. This is where self-motivation comes in.

Salespeople who are self-motivated are more likely to succeed than those who lack motivation. Those who are motivated to improve their skills and performance will respond better to rejection, seek out training opportunities, and work harder to achieve their goals.

They listen to their coaches more and adopt new skills that can help them achieve their goals.

Lack of motivation can negatively impact your performance metrics such as your closing rate and your quotas.


A recent survey revealed that most salespeople put in more than 40 hours a week, with 54% describing their stress levels as high.

Rejection is a common occurrence in sales, with 7 in 10 people hanging up on salespeople.

Emotional intelligence is incredibly important in sales. Without it, you may struggle to handle rejection, which may lead to you burning out or giving up on sales entirely.

Being able to control your emotions is a key skill for sales professionals who need to be able to keep a clear head when faced with high-pressure situations.

Managing your own emotions is an essential skill for salespeople. It can help you from making rash decisions that you’ll likely come to regret.

A self-regulating salesperson is able to control their emotional reactions and refrain from displaying negative behaviors. They are able to remain enthusiastic and motivated, which will allow them to perform at their highest level.


Empathy is the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes. It requires self-awareness, or the ability to recognize and understand your own emotions.

Empathy allows you to respond to your customers’ feelings in a way that’s productive.

An empathetic salesperson is able to understand the customer’s situation, so they can better sell to them. This understanding helps them to better meet customer needs.

Understanding your customer’s goals and needs can help you better serve them.

Empathy is key in sales. By putting yourself in your customer’s shoes, you can better understand how to help them.

By understanding the questions that your customers have, you can better tailor your sales pitch to their needs. This can help create a more customized and personal experience for your prospects.

Overcoming Sales Objections

Handling customers’ emotions can be an important skill when selling. Each prospect will have their own unique needs and concerns that need to be addressed.

Objections are actually a good thing. They give you an opportunity to address a prospect’s concerns.

Sales objections are an opportunity to show the customer that you understand their needs. By preparing in advance for the most common objections, you can turn a negative into a positive and make the sale.

How to Develop Your Sales Team’s EQ

Thankfully, there are specific skills you can teach your salespeople to help them improve their EQ.

Emotionally intelligent sales professionals are:

  • Aware of their strengths and weaknesses
  • Resilient and able to bounce back from setbacks and losses
  • Capable of establishing and maintaining strong connections
  • Assertive in what they need to do
  • Eager to learn and apply new skills to improve their performance
  • Capable of generating their internal motivation
  • Skilled at recognizing different behavior styles and adapting to them

Emotions can often derail a sales rep from closing a deal. This can happen when they present an off-target solution, don’t ask enough or the wrong type of question, or fail to present themselves as trusted advisor.

The EQ Assessment can help your salespeople increase their emotional intelligence, which can in turn help them perform to their maximum potential.

How is Emotional Intelligence Used in Sales?

Sales representatives with high emotional intelligence are able to build relationships with their customers, understand their needs, and provide them with the solutions they are looking for. They are also able to handle difficult customer situations and objections in a way that leads to a positive outcome for both parties.

Emotions play an important role in a sale because they can influence a buyer’s decision. For example, if a buyer is feeling happy, they may be more likely to make a purchase. On the other hand, if a buyer is feeling sad, they may be less likely to make a purchase. Therefore, salespeople need to try to understand the emotions of their buyers and use them to their advantage.

What is EQ Selling?

EQ is selling a platform that allows businesses to connect with their customers on a deeper level. The platform provides tools for businesses to create custom surveys, track customer engagement, and measure customer satisfaction. EQ also offers consulting services to help businesses implement the platform and maximize its potential.


If you want to be a top sales professional, emotional intelligence sales is key. By understanding your customer’s emotions and being able to tap into them, you’ll be much more successful in making the sale.

So if you’re looking to improve your EQ for success in sales, pay attention to social cues and body language. This will give you clues as to how the person is feeling and what they might be thinking.

Listen more than you talk and try to understand what the other person is saying and why they feel that way before responding yourself.

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