7 Emotionally Intelligent things to do During a Sales Meeting
It is a well-known fact that people buy from sales professionals they “Know, Like and Trust” Yes of course your future customers need to find the sales professionals they deal with, to be interesting, competent, professional and valuable to support them – but most importantly they need to find them “Likable and Trustworthy”. Nobody feels motivated to work with someone, who they don’t like or trust.
Likeability and Trustworthiness
The way to improve your likability and to be viewed as trustworthy, comes down to emotional intelligence. These are the set of skills and qualities, which support people to form deeper, closer relationships with others. Likability and trustworthiness are the key benefits, which flow from understanding how to optimise your emotional intelligence, when interacting with future customers.
We don’t get a second chance to make a great first impression. So, to support you to optimise the first impression you make and to help you to be viewed as more likable and trustworthy. I want to share a few straightforward emotionally intelligent tips with you in this article, to help you cement your trustworthiness and likability from the get-go. The tips I am going to share with you are common sense, but before you dismiss them as obvious, be sure that you are making them “Common Practice”, during all your sales encounters.
Go from Good to Great
I believe that the difference between Good Sales People and Great Sales Professionals, is simply “Emotional Intelligence”. Good sales people have great hard selling skills, which equip them to make appointments with the right decision makers at organisations, which need exactly what they sell. Where on the other hand, “Great Sales Professionals” exhibit great emotional intelligence in all sales encounters.
- They understand how to connect and effectively communicate with the different personality types
- They know how to show-up at sales meetings, so that they optimise their likability
- They understand how to come across as professional, yet still project a likable demeanour
- They understand that optimising their emotional intelligence and how they show-up at sales meetings is crucial, if they want to be liked and trusted
1 – Be Authentic and Show Genuine Enthusiasm
I know it may seem right to show up at a sales meeting, where you project a serious and formal demeanour, as that is what feels appropriate. In my experience that is most definitely not the most emotionally intelligent thing to do, as people don’t connect with terse, formal people.
The most emotionally intelligent thing to do is to:
- Be natural
- Project a natural energetic, authentic smile
- Imagine you are meeting someone, who already likes and trusts you (What you think about, you bring about)
- Project a confident and relaxed posture
- Make eye contact
- Project an open posture, palms facing towards your future customer
- Have your legs in a wide, yet comfortable and relaxed stance
- Deliver a firm handshake. (appropriate firmness when meeting female customers)
2 – Ask at least two open ended Questions
As you know conversations die quickly or turn into dialogues of the dead, when they are not fed with great open-ended questions. Great sales professionals know this and prepare before any sales meeting, to ensure they know something about their future customer, so that they can keep the conversation alive early on.
- Prepare before the sales meeting and try to get to know something about your future customer, so that you are prepared with a few open-ended questions to help the conversation to flow.
- People like to speak about themselves, so encourage the conversation to focus on them.
- Aim to ask at minimum – two open-ended questions focused on encouraging your future customer to speak about what matters to them most.
- When preparing to meet with a future customer (Prospect), try to uncover their personality type.
Socialisers – Love to speak about their family or their teams
Organisers – Love to speak about systems and processes and how things work
Learners – Love to details and love to speak about what is going on around them
Dominants – Like to speak about themselves and why things are important to them
On a subconscious level, when you interact with people and show real, authentic caring, they will remember you and you will become both likable and will be seen as trustworthy.
3 – Become a Great Listener
Emotionally intelligent sales professionals, know that listening is one of the most crucial skills they need to master. Future customers want to be heard and they want to feel like their opinion really matters. Nothing achieves this better than asking great questions and then actively listening to your future customers answers.
Treat the first five minutes after meeting with your future customer as a silent quiz session. Strive to only ask engaging open-ended questions during this time and try to find out as much as you possible about your future customer. The more you really listen, ask meaningful questions and the more you can discover about your future customer during that first five minutes, the greater the possibility they will connect with you and grow to “Know, Like and Trust” you in the future.
4 – Find something you have in Common
People like to buy from people, “Just Like Them”. Of course, it is not always possible to meet with future customers that are Just like you or who have things in common with you. The secret that all “Great Sales Professionals” know in this regard, is that although the commonalities may not at first be obvious. There always is a way to find something that you have in common.
When you can find an interest or belief that you share with your future customer, connecting and building trust becomes far simpler. For example, if someone is a runner and you love food. Ask questions around what a runner needs to eat to complete a marathon. In my experience, there always is a way to connect who you are and what you do to something that is of interest to your future customers.
Ways to connect with your future customers, where you have things in common, may not always be obvious. When researching your future customers, become innovative and creative, as you look for ways to find things in common with them.
Ways to find things in common
- Research your future customers and look for things you have in common
- If you cannot find things, which are immediately obvious, look for ways to connect what you do and who you are to things that interest your future customers
- Pay attention to what subjects make your future customers light up and allow the conversation to flow in that direction
- When your future customers are discussing a subject that they connect with, they will become animated, energised and they will light up with excitement.
- As you become aware and start to look for ways to find things in common with your future customers, it will become easier and easier.
5 – Compliment your Future customer
We all love to be recognised and appreciate an authentic compliment about something we have achieved or done. Look for things you can complement your future customers on and they will immediately start to warm to you. If there is nothing obvious to compliment your future customers on, then try to ask a few open-ended questions to try to find something to compliment them on.
6 – Use their Name
As a final tool to cement the relationship, use the most powerful word in the English language, throughout the sales conversation. The most powerful word in the English language is “YOUR NAME”. Everybody loves the sound of their own name and when they hear someone say it, they subconsciously connect with that person. When leaving any meeting use your future customers name, to ensure that you leave a lasting impression.
7 – Remember a few key details
Reinforce your likability factor by banking a few crucial details you learned during your meeting and use these in subsequent meetings with your future customers. When you do this effectively, you show that you were really listening and that what they said really mattered to you.
When you refer back to something important, such as their partners, children’s or pet’s names, or you remember a special occasion, sports event or hobby etc. they feel connected with you and you will become memorable and likable. When you show that the details you learned in previous meeting really matter, your future customers will look forward to meeting with you and they will grow to like and trust you.