I’m a big fan of Michael Scott in the hit show The Office. The original version of the show was created by Ricky Gervais in England and it was his idea to have Michael’s character be a great salesman to appeal to an American audience. Michael was an award-winning sales manager before he became the Dunder Mifflin branch manager. There’s something very likable about Michael and his character even when he shows the most inappropriate behavior. His ability to form strong relationships and friendships with his team and customers were key to every episode.
Top-performing salespeople develop strong relationships with their clients and peers and learn and adapt along the way. They take the time to understand their challenges and successes. As technology continues to grow exponentially, it’s important for everyone to learn and adapt at a faster rate. Currently, people have a unique skill set that technology hasn’t been able to replicate, especially in the field of sales – this is the human ability to form relationships and have empathy while detecting, adapting, and responding to emotional states and what others are saying and doing. These soft skill sets related to emotional intelligence (EI) are becoming the primary focus for sales training – it’s what differentiates you from your competition.
Below are five EI sales tips inspired by Michael Scott and are vital to your sales success.
- Always Be Learning and Open to Change
- Be a life-long learner because there’s always new products, methods, or technologies flooding into the market.
- Continuously research and learn best practices to stay ahead of your competition.
- Stay Present
- Focus on tasks and avoid impulsive distractions.
- Get plenty of rest and carve out time to take breaks.
- Be flexible in your schedule as much as possible.
- Prioritize Your Customer — Get Them Talking and Listen
Show your customer that you care by:
- Connecting via social media and email
- Offering promotions and discounts that are specific to their unique needs
- Staying in touch on a regular basis
- Being authentic and communicating your successes and shortcomings
- Build an Authentic Relationship With Your Customer — Don’t Put the Sale First
- Identify your customer’s needs and persona by asking important open-ended questions.
- Determine if your contact is the right customer for your business and if your services can realistically meet their needs.
- Gather Insights From Your Peers
- Team members offer a wealth of knowledge and they’re often an untapped resource. Remember to maintain strong relationships with your peers and share insights with another.
- You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel — turn to your team for ideas on how to solve a challenge or improve customer engagement. Be vulnerable and ask for help.
I hope you find these EI sales tips helpful and share them with your peers who might benefit from them too. If you’re looking for more helpful resources, check out our new online sales training program for teams — it includes online workshops, live virtual training sessions, assignments, and coaching.
About the Author
Bobi Seredich is a recognized speaker, author, trainer, and successful entrepreneur specializing in leadership development. She has spent over 20 years of her career dedicated to creating, directing, writing, and presenting leadership programs for top companies in the U.S. and around the world.
Bobi is the founder of the Southwest Institute for Emotional Intelligence (SWIEI) and Managing Partner of EQ Inspirations. In 2001, she founded Equanimity, Inc. also known as EQ Speakers – a speakers’ bureau and leadership training company. It quickly became a top speaker bureau that booked hundreds of speakers with large Fortune 500 clients. EQ Speakers was sold in 2012 and continues to be a leader in the industry.
In January 2023, SWIEI launched an updated online emotional intelligence (EI) training program utilizing AI and “On the Spot” practice scenarios with improv actors. It’s transforming and improving the way leadership training on EI is delivered, learned, and applied. In April 2023, SWIEI launched an online sales training program focusing on improving listening skills and personalizing the sale utilizing the same AI tools and “On the Spot” practice scenarios.
Her book Courage Does Not Always Roar – Ordinary Women with Extraordinary Courage, was published by Simple Truths in the spring of 2010. The book is a collection of her experiences and stories of women who have had the courage to overcome very difficult life events.
Her passion is to guide individuals and organizations to a higher performance level through her own business knowledge, inspirational stories, and leadership EI training. Bobi lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband, Roy, and 11-year old twins, Alex and Gia.
By Bobi Seredich
Disclaimer: I do not own the images above. Please note that all images and copyrights belong to their original owners. No copyright infringement intended.