In recent years, professionals everywhere have come to the realization that emotional intelligence (EQ) is just as important as general intelligence (IQ).
So, it may come as no surprise to you that the higher your EQ is, the better you’re going to be at sales, and building relationships with prospects, clients, and candidates.
This begs the question:
Is EQ a skill you can learn?
Or is it a natural “it factor” where, if you have it, you have it…and if you don’t, you don’t?
Like most things in life, the answer is both.
Naturally, some people are born with higher EQ than others. But that doesn’t mean you’re fresh out of luck!
It’s more than possible to raise your EQ level. In fact, even if your EQ is naturally high, it’s an important skill to continue building for the rest of your life.
That’s why I want to share with you one of my favorite strategies for building your EQ.
But first—a brief history lesson.
Back in the 1960’s, Daniel Goldman was the first science journalist to introduce the idea of emotional intelligence. He divided it into 5 categories:
- Social skills
Today, we’re honing in on social skills and empathy.
In her article on EQ, Michelle Richardsen defines social skills as, “the ability to have social awareness, make meaningful connections, build rapport, and maintain relationships over an extended period of time.”
If you’re a financial advisor or service-based professional, building trust and rapport with your clients is critical.
Richardsen then defines empathy as, “the ability to identify and understand other people’s emotions, and the desire to respond to them productively.”
Again, if you’re a service-based professional, then your clients are trusting you with deeply personal aspects of their lives: their money, their health, etc. This means your relationship with your clients extends far beyond transactional. It’s personal and intimate, and requires your highest level of EQ.
My FAVORITE strategy to make meaningful connections, build rapport, and emotionally connect with your clients?
Telling stories is a universal language that excels in creating connections between you and your clients!
And while there are all different types of stories, the two most powerful stories you can use are called your Personal Brand WHY Story and your Desire Story.
Your Personal Brand WHY Story is a story unique to you and your business that conveys why you do what you do, and why you care about helping your ideal clients (check out our blog on Personal Brand WHY Stories to learn more).
On the other hand, your Desire Story is about a client—or clients—who’ve gotten great results from working with you. This story is used to evoke desire in the hearts of your listener to achieve those same results.
Both stories are tools every business owner needs in their toolkit to build rapport, make emotional connections, and grow their EQ overall.
If you check out Michael Kitces’ podcast, “Connecting Better with Prospects by Sharing Stories Instead of Expertise,” you’ll hear the two of us dive deep into a 5-part framework on how to infuse emotional intelligence skills throughout your entire sales and relationship building process.
In fact, at Crazy Good Talks, we’ve used this exact framework for the last 10 years. After just one conversation, it enables us to establish trust, rapport, and display empathy with our clients.
Make sure you listen to the framework… this can be possible for you too!
Now, we’ve covered a lot today, so I want to make sure I didn’t miss anything:
Emotional intelligence is both a skill and a quality. Out of the five components of EQ, social skills and empathy are the two most important for business owners who want to build rapport and connect with their prospects, clients, and candidates. The best strategy to utilize social skills and empathy is through storytelling! Specifically, your Personal Brand WHY Story and your Desire Story. And, if you want a tried-and-true framework for infusing your sales process with EQ, then click right here, friend.
Thank you D for this great post.I am a coach in the Bethel University MBA program. Emotional intelligence is one of the things we measure and work with our students on. It’s possible to be an effective leader without high emotional intelligence. That is, you can get the job done. But there will be a lot of Collateral damage. All great leaders have high emotional intelligence. I recommend the Gallup assessment and book. Which first measures your current EI, then provides specific help in developing it. I’ve also developed an app, which can help people, if they are Christian, to develop the traits of love Joy peace patients kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness and self-control All of which are key in high emotional intelligence. The app is called life’s core purpose.
So true! my clients never say to me ” my portfolio has the highest rate of return because of you” what they do say is “You’re someone I trust” , ” I feel comforted knowing that you are there for me”
A little empathy goes a long way!