As a sales keynote speaker, I’m often asked how to boost revenue and outperform quotas. While smart selling strategies are key, tapped into emotional intelligence is equally vital. In this post, I’ll share emotional selling techniques to connect on a deeper level and drive more sales.
Why Emotions Matter in Selling
Many sales professionals focus solely on featuring product benefits, analyzing data, and making logical arguments. While essential, this misses a key factor: the customer’s emotional state.
According to a CEB study, connecting with prospects on an emotional level differentiated top sales performers . Emotionally intelligent sellers build rapport, empathy, and trust to uncover motivations and close more deals.
Some key statistics:
- 63% of purchasing decisions are driven by emotional factors rather than logic .
- Salespeople with high EQ outperform low EQ reps by 29% .
- 91% of customers are more likely to buy from empathetic sales professionals .
Incorporating emotional intelligence into your sales strategy is crucial for inspiring action instead of simply presenting information.
Core Emotional Selling Skills
Here are the top emotional selling techniques I teach sales teams:
Actively Listen: Focus closely on the prospect’s words and body language. Reflect their feelings and priorities rather than imposing your agenda.
Ask Thoughtful Questions: Ask open-ended questions to deepen your understanding of motivations and surface emotional drivers.
Express Empathy: Acknowledge prospects’ frustrations, objections, and concerns. Phrases like “I understand why you’d be worried about…” build rapport.
Share Relevant Stories: Stories that reinforce shared values and emotional connections are remembered over dry data.
Convey Passion: When you express genuine excitement and conviction, your positive emotions influence the buyer.
Provide Guidance: Position yourself as a trusted advisor guiding prospects through uncertainty and risk on the path to a solution.
Mastering these emotional intelligence skills separates average performers from sales superstars.
Actionable Techniques to Increase Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence isn’t necessarily an inborn trait. With the right approaches, you can develop your EQ over time:
Observe Faces: Notice microexpressions and subtle body language cues that reveal deeper emotions.
Mirror Body Language: Subtly mirror the other person’s posture, gestures, and tone to build kinship.
Use Emotive Language: Incorporate emotion-evoking words like “excited”, “secure”, and “relieved” when appropriate.
Watch for Cues: Listen for emotional cues like verbal tone, word choices, and questions asked. Then respond accordingly.
Personalize Messaging: Adapt your messaging to appeal specifically to the prospect’s personality, goals and motivations.
Suspend Judgement: Avoid labelling prospects as “difficult,” “rude,” etc. React calmly rather than becoming defensive.
Practice Scenarios: Role play exchanges with colleagues and get feedback on expressing empathy and emotion effectively but authentically.
Developing these habits trains your brain to automatically tap into emotional intelligence on sales calls.
Key Emotional Selling Skills for Each Stage
Emotional intelligence comes into play throughout the entire sales process:
Prospecting: Express curiosity about their world and build rapport right from your opening lines.
Presentation: Share case studies that appeal to their emotional goals like pride, achievement, or status.
Handling Objections: First acknowledge the validity of objections to show you empathize.
Negotiating: Beware of pushing too aggressively; this prompts distrust and resistance. Pace conversations based on emotional cues.
Closing: Confidently guide wavering prospects toward feeling peace, comfort, and excitement about your solution.
Follow Up: Regularly check in and reactivate the emotional connection developed during sales conversations.
Adjust your approach at each phase to match the prospect’s mindset and emotions.
Practical Tips to Boost Emotional Intelligence
Here are some key tips sales reps can implement immediately to improve emotional selling skills:
Listen With Your Eyes: Maintain steady eye contact to focus fully and observe microexpressions.
Pause Before Responding: Give yourself 3 seconds after they finish speaking so you don’t react too hastily.
Paraphrase Their Statements: Demonstrate you understand their perspective and feelings before asserting your own.
Avoid Interruptions: This causes frustration and shuts down further sharing of emotions or motivations.
Validate Emotions: Phrases like “It makes perfect sense to be concerned about…” show you identify with their feelings.
Read Body Language: Note crossed arms, distracted gaze, or leaning away as cues to reassure and reconnect.
With practice, these tips will enhance your ability to emotionally connect with prospects and clients.
In today’s experience economy, forming emotional bonds accelerates sales success. Emotionally intelligent keynote speakers and sales leaders model the power of empathy, vulnerability and conscious listening.
I urge implementing emotional intelligence training to transform your team into consultative partners instead of transactional vendors. By truly understanding your clients’ motivations, frustrations and desires, you unlock the feelings of trust and community that drive buying decisions.
To discuss how I can deliver an inspiring sales keynote on emotional intelligence for your team, reach out today. Together we can generate new wins and revenue growth through meaningful human connections.
 CEB Sales Leadership Council, “Connecting Emotionally with Customers: What Star Performers Do”, Corporate Executive Board, 2016.
 Dixon, Matthew and Adam, Andrea “The Challenger Customer: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results”, Portfolio, 2015.
 Weis, William L. “Developing Highly Emotionally Intelligent Salespeople”, Psychology Today, 2015.
 Salesforce State of Sales Report, 2022.