Emotional intelligence (EQ) is defined by leading scholars as having the ability to "recognize, understand, and manage our own emotions and recognize, understand, and influence the emotions of others."
This human superpower is especially applicable if you're growing a business. But for those of us doing the selling -- whether you're the founder or in a sales role -- there is one EQ rule you must apply if you and your business are to succeed.
It is the rule of love what you sell.
Not everyone has the capacity to work, or live, by this rule. Salespeople everywhere don't love what they sell and scores more don't believe in the product they are selling.
Why? Because they're not passionate. They don't own it. To sell with the magic of emotional intelligence, you have to love what you're selling, otherwise you're just going through the motions and your customers will see right through it.
Warren Buffett agrees
Since the business or career path you've chosen is an affair of the heart, you are motivated by the love that energizes you to give much to others. You just won't work hard enough to become great if you aren't doing what you love.
Legendary investor Warren Buffett surely understands this premise, because he once said, "In the world of business, the people who are most successful are those who are doing what they love."
That's the first rule of selling with emotional intelligence. The financial rewards and perks of the job are secondary to having an intrinsic desire -- from the heart -- to purposefully make a difference in the lives of customers who buy the product. Have a passion to sell what you love, and the money will follow.
One more rule
Selling with EQ, though, requires another EQ rule: Love your customers.
Not everyone operating through business-as-usual is in the business of loving their customers. Far from it. Profit is often a byproduct of quick transactions, not long-term relationships. No value, no purpose, no heart.
For those with high EQ, human interaction and emotions are par for the course in selling what you love. This gives the salesperson with high emotional intelligence a clear advantage to interact with, understand, and influence customers.
Empathy, a big component of emotional intelligence, surely comes into play here to really understand and assess a customer's needs by walking in their shoes and knowing what they're feeling.
Talk about competitive advantage! Salespeople will use empathy to guide genuine interactions with their customers to truly know how they feel. It is these trusted and sacred interactions that make it safe for the salesperson to confidently ask a customer for a sale, and the customer to confidently make the purchase.
Plain and simple, when you use your emotional intelligence to intuitively read the emotional cues of your customer, you end up building better relationships and getting more sales.