• Peter Attwood

How Does Emotional Intelligence Play a Role in Sales?

How does your Emotional Intelligence play a role in sales?

First I need to say that I am not a psychologist. However I do a lot of reading and have a passionate interest in personal development and anything that can give me an edge in sales.

So how does your EQ (Emotional Quotient) factor in your ability to close deals?

Everything that you see, smell, hear and touch is transmitted via electric signals to your frontal lobes just behind the forehead. This is the executive, objective, decision making part of the brain, where rational thinking takes place.

However and importantly, on the way, these very signals must pass through the limbic system (in your brain), where your emotions are produced. This ensures that you first experience things emotionally and afterwards rationally.

What has this got to do with selling? …a lot… fact….everything.

To make a sale the prospect must emotionally buy into your pitch first. Only afterwards do they rationalise (from the frontal lobes) and justify their buying decision.

The triggers for buying are in the emotions. Real Estate agents play on this emotional pull. Let me ask you this, after doing your budget and talking to the bank, have you paid more for a house than you originally wanted to? … because you loved it and really had to have it!! REALLY.

Top sales people understand that it is the heart strings that open the purse strings.

For the purposes of this blog the four pillars of Emotional Intelligence are:

Self-Awareness of your emotions in real time.Self-Management to keep your emotions in check.Social-Awareness or empathy.Managing Relationships and building rapport.

Self-Awareness + Self-Management allows you to be with your emotions in a sales interview and be concerned but unattached. Remember in my previous blog I wrote about being concerned but unattached.

Social-Awareness is your ability to pick up on the emotions of others – reading the play – staying focussed and spotting the subtle buying signals.

Relationship-Management involves using an understanding of your own and the prospects emotions to successfully manage the sales presentation and ensure that your communication is:


The Sales Appointment

You will only ever get one chance to make a first presentation and first impression.

If you feel daunted meeting a decision maker for the first time, try this:

Get there earlyExhale and extinguish all the air from your lungsBreath in deeply and slowly through your noseHold for a momentNow breath out through the mouth – slowlyDo this ten times all the while counting down from ten to zero.

You should now feel relaxed and focussed.

The Sales Presentation

Turn off the tape and voice in your head. Give the person in front of you your full attention. Focussing fully on their needs (and not your own) builds:


All of which are vital components to effect a successful sale.

You can do this by:

Being present.Asking the right questions.Listening without interrupting.Listening to learn and gather data.

It is said that the person who does the most talking in a sales presentation, walks away with the product. Therefore do more listening than talking.


If you want to increase your conversion rate and are not getting the results that you want, look inward; the more in touch with yourself you are, the stronger you are and people will buy that strength.

Now back to concerned but unattached. How on earth can I do this you ask when I have to meet my budget?

Try this: have plenty of conversations on the go; keep the pipeline full and constantly topped up. You are not then reliant on just a few sale appointments coming good.

Further reading:

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel GolemanEmotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves

I am interested in your thoughts and contribution to the conversation. Please feel free to leave comments.

Peter Attwood

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