Which Emotional Skills Help You Sell?

Last Updated Dec 21, 2007 10:15 AM EST

Emotional Quotient Testing for SalesOn Friday, I surfaced the concept of EQ (aka Emotional Quotient or Emotional Intelligence), and cited Rob Scher, president of the Scher Group, who's a big proponent of increasing the EQ of sales folk in order to improve productivity.

According to Scher, EQ consists of sliding scales that determine how a person will behave and react in any given circumstance. As he explained it to me, EQ has "scales" and "subscales" that can be altered in order to change, if not your actual personality, at least the way that you behave and feel about business situations.

Here are the five scales and 15 sub-scales (the bulleted items) that can be modified:

Scale #1: Intra-personal

  • Self-regard. The ability to realistically appreciate your strengths and accept your limitations.
  • Emotional self- awareness. The ability to recognize and understand what you are feeling and why.
  • Assertiveness. The ability to express feelings, beliefs, and thoughts openly.
  • Independence. The ability to be self-directed and self-controlled in your thinking and actions.
  • Self-actualization. The ability to follow pursuits that lead to the development of your abilities and talents.
Scale #2: Interpersonal
  • Empathy. The ability to be aware of, to understand, and to appreciate the feelings of others.
  • Interpersonal relationships. The ability to maintain emotional closeness through social interchanges.
  • Social responsibility. The ability to be a contributing and constructive member of your social group.
  • Adaptability. The ability to accept things as they are and to change what can be changed.
Scale #3: Reality testing
  • Flexibility. The ability to adjust your emotions and behavior to changing situations and conditions.
  • Problem solving. The ability to identify problems and generate effective solutions.
Scale #4: General Mood
  • Optimism. The ability to view the world as moving in a generally positive direction.
  • Happiness. The ability to enjoy oneself and others and to feel satisfied with one's life.
Scale #5: Stress Management
  • Stress tolerance. The ability to withstand adverse events, stressful situations, and strong emotions.
  • Impulse control. The ability to regulate your emotions and to resist the temptation to act in haste.
QUESTION: Which of the above bulleted characteristics are the most important for sales professionals to master?
Needless to say, they're all valuable, but which do you think are the MOST important? (I'll give you Scher's answer to this question on Wednesday.)