We recently revealed an important realization to our sales training clients in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto.  It became so obvious in our observations of top-performing Salespeople, we though that you would find it as valuable.  It’s the ability of great Salespeople to have high levels of emotional intelligence with their decision makers.  Let’s give you a description of what this means and how to make it work for you.

There are over 60 qualities of successful Salespeople that lead to success.  Luckily, you don’t need all 60 to succeed.  Great Salespeople might be skilled in 15 to 20 and create workarounds and good ways of managing their weaknesses.  Yet, we’ve been fortunate to work with hundreds of top-performers and witness first hand their most common traits.

The most desirable qualities

There is a long list of them.  The ability to be ask great questions, actively listen and understand the needs of your clients are vital.  Knowing how not to take rejection personally and have the self-discipline and work ethic required for success are equally so.  Establishing rapport, confidence and trust with buyers and having the drive and passion required can’t be underestimated.  There is one unmistakably dominant ability that sets the most successful Salespeople apart.

Emotional Intelligence

This is skill that sums up many of the 60 attributes of top-performing Salespeople.  You could call them soft skills or people skills that give you the ability to understand your decision makers and what motivates them to take action.  We will know this – a buyer with a sense or urgency to make a decision is something we all want.  The question is how do we promote and grow that motivation in buyers?

The Definition

Emotional intelligence is ability to understand your client, his or her current situation and what’s required to help them make better decisions.  This holds for both B2B and B2C Salespeople whether your selling consumer products or services or intangibles for business decision makers wishing to improve their revenues or save money.  High emotional intelligence requires great listening skills, the ability to know how to SHUT UP and LISTEN with a great degree of compassion and understanding.  Salespeople with this quality would never think of using a closing technique to rush a sale that’s not ready to occur.

These highly trained professionals are street smart and skilled in determining the degree of urgency and timing in their client’s world.  They are masters of asking the right questions to act as advisors and cause their customers to come to realizations that are the basis of making great decisions.  Of all the great attributes within emotional intelligence, there is one that stands out from the rest.


It’s the ability to feel what the client feels.  To see the buyer’s world from their perspective.  To create a strong connection based on the sincere desire to understand the customer’s needs and represents his or her best interests.  These all fall within the use of empathy.  Its power cannot be underestimated in the decision of which Salesperson and company will win the business.

What can happen

I have even witnessed the greatest Salespeople slow the sales cycle of the buyer to ensure that they are making the right decision by considering all components.  They will want to know the list of everyone affected by the choice and how the benefits will be realized by the people involved.  This, in turn, has the ability of improving closing rates.  Here’s one of the best positioning statements I heard from an experienced Salesperson.

“It’s my job to make sure you make the right decision.  The better the information you have, the better choice you’ll make.  Does that make sense, Dave?”

Who’d ever answer that question negatively?  This same Salesperson claimed that he seldom felt the need to use closing techniques because decision makers closed themselves and asked questions that revealed they wanted to buy.

I want to buy you

It was clear in these actual sales scenarios that due of the high degree of trust and credibility established, the client had made the conscious decision to want to buy the Salesperson first.  Then consideration could be given to the quality, price-point and value of the product or service represented.

Another benefit to emotional intelligence

By constantly working the muscle of emotional intelligence, the greatest Salespeople develop an uncanny ability of sales intuition.  This is the ability to predict who will buy, who might not, and the reasons why.  Clearly, the Salesperson has invested the time to understand the buyer far more than most of his or her competition.  This allows the professional to know who is ready to buy now and then to back off from pushing the customer who’s not ready to make a purchase at this point in time.

The second mistake  Professional Salespeople make is to neglect following up with buyers.  Many complex buying decisions require six to even eight attempts at follow up.  Smart Salespeople have the self-discipline to make these calls because they realize the return on their investment.

By the way, the first common mistake of Salespeople is to talk too much.  If you’re interested in learning the 10 Most Common Mistakes of Salespeople and how to develop a better sense of emotional intelligence and sales intuition, check out the free trial of our online sales training course – The Sales Skills Incubator.

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Dave Warawa – PROSALESGUY 

Author of SHUT UP!  Stop Talking and Start Making Money available on amazon.com and amazon.ca in paperback and kindle