MyyntiKollektiivin yhteisön blogi: Jessie Redfors – Sales Mastery: Human Connection

February 16, 2024

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Jessie Redfors – Sales Mastery: Human Connection

As I reflect on the evolution of complex B2B software sales, I'm reminded that at the heart of it all lies a simple, unchanging truth: the human connection.

I recall the first time I encountered Simon Sinek's profound statement, "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." That phrase engraved itself into my mind. Every time I am closer to closing a deal, I pause and ponder, "Have we made it crystal clear to our customers why we do what we do?" Unlike what may be thought about the reason for asking the question - I don't go to clients and add "Let me now tell you more about our why" -  My pondering helps me continuously assess our brand and communication effectiveness - something I found helpful with agility and moving fast to gain a new client, clients appreciate agility, agility is often driven by a strong situational understanding and calculated fast reaction, all competencies part of the emotional intelligence. 

The "Why" question guides customers to us, integral to our branding. When meeting a new customer, I consider how our branding aligns with theirs. This reflection helps me understand our competitors and prospects--understanding why a prospect buys from a competitor enables better communication of our 'why.' Surprisingly, the challenge often lies in communication, not in changing our 'why.'

The emergence of AI in sales has undeniably raised the bar. The landscape is more competitive than ever. But amidst this technological prowess, it's crucial to remember: that AI is a tool, not a master. Daniel Goleman has grouped emotional intelligence into 4 domains: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Nested within each domain are 12 Emotional Intelligence competencies, out of which are the 'Magnificent Seven' of EI competencies, a must-have for successful sales leaders - Influence, Adaptability, Emotional Self-Control, Positive Outlook, Teamwork, Emotional Self-Awareness, and Achievement Orientation.

As sales leaders, we partly embody our company's brand. In today's challenging economic climate, competencies like agility, adaptability, and influence are imperative to succeed. Our customers look to us for stability and reliability in uncertain times.

I was recently reminded of the importance of adaptability in a conversation with the CEO of a technology company. He spoke of his company's international expansion and how they deployed their best talent abroad. However, a glance at their financial reports painted a different picture -- the company has been making significant losses. 

While this loss can be due to various other reasons - my point is: that not always your best people are the ones capable of driving your international growth as a company. Moving abroad and leading a team overseas demands a unique skill set where adaptability, coaching, and mentorship are vital. These competencies, rooted in EI, are the cornerstone of successful global sales are all part of the emotional intelligence domains of Daniel Goleman. 

When considering international expansion, the choice of who to send abroad should not be taken lightly. A top performer in a familiar environment may struggle in a new cultural context. Instead, seek individuals who have proven to be adaptable so they can adapt to the local market, proven to be able to coach and mentor so they can grow the team further, and proven to be influential and with empathy in order to gain their team's trust and be successful as well as resilient in volatile markets.  All these competencies are part of the Emotional Intelligence sub-domains.

As the sales world continues to evolve with technological advancements, we must not lose sight of the fundamental element that drives success: the human connection. Our ability to understand, adapt, and connect with people is what truly sets us apart.

Emotional intelligence can be one of your most powerful sales tools. 

The writer Jessie Redfors is a business strategist and author. Jessie applies science-backed and experience-driven methods and tactics for peak sales performance.

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