Managers: Are You Paying Attention to Your EQ?

BY Kathy Crosett
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Did you recently step into a sales management role? Congratulations. Your new manager training likely focused on how to use the CRM, the best way to process PTO requests and understanding expense reimbursement guidelines. At the same time, you received the sales numbers you need to meet for the year. All that training and information can come across as high level. And you’re left with precious few tips on how to actually manage your reps.

Skills That New Managers Must Develop

Sales leaders are often criticized for their inability to change work habits once they move past the sales rep position. New sales managers still yearn for the adrenaline rush that comes when they sign a big deal. Or they crave the recognition they enjoyed when they landed a difficult account. Instead of helping their reps learn how to improve their skills, they might try to do the job for them.

You should concentrate on stopping that behavior. But there’s one key aspect of being a top salesperson that you must bring to your management post: emotional intelligence. When you become aware of what you and your employees are feeling in a situation, and you adjust your behavior to optimize outcomes, you’re showing high EQ. You’re among the leaders who “are approachable, relatable, human – and trustworthy.” Specifically, high EQ means an individual has high levels of empathy and terrific social skills, says Jeff Seeley in a Selling Power post.

How to Tap into Your EQ

During your sales rep days, you paid attention to the prospect’s comments and mannerisms. You listened to their concerns. You established trust with them, probably through empathy and social skills. Only then did you offer them a solution that would help solve their problems. When you use the same strategy with your sales reps, you’ll succeed in helping them achieve their goals.

Approaching sales management in this way can influence your reps to develop their EQ levels as well. In one study, insurance agents with higher EQ sold more than double the number of policies than agents with lower EQ did. If you and your reps demonstrate superior EQ skills, you’ll create a great work environment and meet all of your sales goals for the year.