Have you ever thought about the potential of a $5 bar of iron? If you’ve never seen one, there’s not much to it. Just a simple rectangle, like a bar of gold bullion, though a heck of a lot less expensive. But just because it’s a $5 bar of iron doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. There are actually lots of things you can do to increase its value.
If you take that $5 bar of iron and melt it down and turn it into horseshoes, you could more than double its value to $12. Not bad. And if you take that $5 bar of iron and turn it into sewing needles, you increase the value to nearly $3500. Pretty good for a $5 bar of iron, right? But get this: if you take that same bar of iron and turn it into watch springs for the finest Swiss watches, you increase its value to $300,000!
If you’re in the sales game during these times of economic uncertainty, you have your work cut out for you. But the good news is you have a bar of iron ready to be shaped. No, I’m not talking about your product or service. Even in a recession, individuals and businesses still have problems that need solutions. And as long as you have a product or service that’s efficient and effective, it has the potential to sell.
The bar of iron I’m talking about is your sales team.
The Impact of EQ on Your Sales Team
To unlock that potential, you need to understand that there are a whole lot of new variables with selling in today’s world. Something called COVID-19 changed the rules of the game—maybe not permanently—but for the next decade or so at least. Virtual conferences, limited-capacity sporting events and entertainment venues, online retail, virtual education, video training; new models for our new world are emerging every day. But the bedrock of sales is what it always has been: having a high emotional intelligence, colloquially known as emotional quotient or EQ.
EQ, the psychological equivalent of IQ, is “the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.” EQ is an absolute requirement for effective and sustainable relationships, and should not be regarded as a “soft” skill in business, but as a critical one.
When you think about it, buyers actually might have a lot more information than you, or a different version of information. So, you’ve got to somehow get into their head and enable them to share, so you can help them ultimately weigh out whether the decision’s right or not.
In times of economic uncertainty and our post-COVID-19 world, igniting the EQ factor in your sales team is more important than ever.
Having a high IQ might get you on Jeopardy!, but when it comes to selling, it’s just not enough. EQ also matters. In fact, psychologists generally agree that among the ingredients for success in sales, IQ counts for only 10 percent; the rest depends on EQ!
 Michael D. Akers and Grover L. Porter, “Your EQ Skills: Got What It Takes?”, Journal of Accountancy. March 2003