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Sales EQ: How Ultra High Performers Leverage Sales-Specific Emotional Intelligence to Close the Complex Deal

ISBN: 978-1-119-31257-4
320 pages
March 2017
Sales EQ: How Ultra High Performers Leverage Sales-Specific Emotional Intelligence to Close the Complex Deal (1119312574) cover image

Description

The New Psychology of Selling

The sales profession is in the midst of a perfect storm. Buyers have more power—more information, more at stake, and more control over the sales process—than any time in history. Technology is bringing disruptive change at an ever-increasing pace, creating fear and uncertainty that leaves buyers clinging to the status quo. Deteriorating attention spans have made it difficult to get buyers to sit still long enough to “challenge,” “teach,” “help,” give “insight,” or sell “value.” And a relentless onslaught of “me-too” competitors have made differentiating on the attributes of products, services, or even price more difficult than ever.

Legions of salespeople and their leaders are coming face to face with a cold hard truth: what once gave salespeople a competitive edge—controlling the sales process, command of product knowledge, an arsenal of technology, and a great pitch—are no longer guarantees of success. Yet this is where the vast majority of the roughly $20 billion spent each year on sales training goes.  It’s no wonder many companies are seeing 50 percent or more of their salespeople miss quota.  

Yet, in this new paradigm, an elite group of top 1 percent sales professionals are crushing it. In our age of technology where information is ubiquitous and buyer attention spans are fleeting, these superstars have learned how to leverage a new psychology of selling—Sales EQ—to keep prospects engaged, create true competitive differentiation, as well as shape and influence buying decisions. These top earners are acutely aware that the experience of buying from them is far more important than products, prices, features, and solutions.

In Sales EQ, Jeb Blount takes you on an unprecedented journey into the behaviors, techniques, and secrets of the highest earning salespeople in every industry and field. You’ll learn:

  • How to answer the 5 Most Important Questions in Sales to make it virtually impossible for prospects to say no
  • How to master 7 People Principles that will give you the power to influence anyone to do almost anything
  • How to shape and align the 3 Processes of Sales to lock out competitors and shorten the sales cycle
  • How to Flip the Buyer Script to gain complete control of the sales conversation
  • How to Disrupt Expectations to pull buyers towards you, direct their attention, and keep them engaged
  • How to leverage Non-Complementary Behavior to eliminate resistance, conflict, and objections
  • How to employ the Bridge Technique to gain the micro-commitments and next steps you need to keep your deals from stalling
  • How to tame Irrational Buyers, shake them out of their comfort zone, and shape the decision making process
  • How to measure and increase you own Sales EQ using the 15 Sales Specific Emotional Intelligence Markers
  • And so much more!  

Sales EQ begins where The Challenger Sale, Strategic Selling, and Spin Selling leave off. It addresses the human relationship gap in the modern sales process at a time when sales organizations are failing because many salespeople have never been taught the human skills required to effectively engage buyers at the emotional level.  Jeb Blount makes a compelling case that sales specific emotional intelligence (Sales EQ) is more essential to success than education, experience, industry awareness, product knowledge, skills, or raw IQ; and, sales professionals who invest in developing and improving Sales EQ gain a decisive competitive advantage in the hyper-competitive global marketplace.

Sales EQ arms salespeople and sales leaders with the tools to identify their most important sales specific emotional intelligence developmental needs along with strategies, techniques, and frameworks for reaching ultra-high performance and earnings, regardless of sales process, industry, deal complexity, role (inside or outside), product or service (B2B or B2C).

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Table of Contents

Foreword Anthony Iannarino xiii

Chapter 1 The Mysterious Brown Bag 1

The Lesson of a Lifetime 2

A Front-Row Seat into the Mind of a UHP 4

Chapter 2 A Perfect Sales Storm 7

Meet the Ultra-High-Performance Sales Professional 9

Chapter 3 The Irrational Buyer 11

Nail-Biting Suspense 12

The Answer 12

The Reason 13

To Buy Is Human 14

The Secret Ingredient 17

Approach Buyers the Way They Buy 18

Chapter 4 Pattern Painting, Cognitive Biases, and Heuristics 20

Pattern Monster 21

Pattern Painting 22

Mental Shortcuts 23

People Act on Emotion and Justify with Logic 24

Chapter 5 The Four Levels of Sales Intelligence 28

Innate Intelligence 29

Acquired Intelligence 30

A Thirst for Knowledge 31

Technological Intelligence 32

Emotional Intelligence 33

IQ + AQ + TQ + EQ—A Powerful Combination 33

Chapter 6 Shaping Win Probability 35

Poetry 36

Win Probability Is the First Rule of

Ultra-High Sales Performance 36

Fanatical Prospecting 38

The Law of Replacement 39

Disciplined Qualifying 40

Mapping Stakeholders 40

Aligning the Three Processes of Sales 41

Sales EQ and Human Influence Frameworks 42

Chapter 7 Dual Process 44

Sales EQ Balances the Scales 45

Four Pillars of Sales-Specific Emotional Intelligence 46

Chapter 8 Empathy 48

The Foundation of Sales EQ 50

Empathy Scale 50

Intentional Empathy 52

Regulating Empathy 54

Chapter 9 Self-Awareness 56

Self-Awareness Is the Mother of High Sales EQ 57

Psychometric Assessments 58

Get a Coach or Mentor 59

Ask for Feedback 60

Write Down Your Goals and Plans 60

360-Degree Review 60

Self-Reflection 62

Chapter 10 Sales Drive 64

Developing Drive 66

Physical Fitness 68

Develop Mental Toughness 70

Chapter 11 Self-Control 72

Managing Disruptive Emotions 73

Genesis of Disruptive Emotions 74

Fight or Flight 77

Cognitive Biases 80

Developing Self-Control 84

Rise Above Emotion and Choose Your Behaviors 93

Chapter 12 Shaping Win Probability Begins with Qualification 95

Chasing Ugly Deals 96

Define the Strike Zone 97

Qualifying Methodologies and Shortcuts 97

Nine-Frame Qualification Matrix 101

Measure Every Prospect against Your Ideal

Qualified Prospect Profile 104

Murder Boarding 107

Chapter 13 Engagement and Micro-Commitments 109

Testing Engagement 110

Tune In to Emotions 111

Micro-Commitments 113

Leveraging the Value Bias and Consistency Principle 114

Getting Caught Up in Emotion 115

Chapter 14 Stalled Deals and Next Steps 118

The Bane of Sales Organizations 119

The Cardinal Rule of Sales Conversations 120

Getting Past the Next-Step Brush-Off 122

Ledge 123

Disrupt 124

Ask 126

Chapter 15 Sales Process 128

Disruptive Emotions Disrupt the Sales Process 129

Winging It 130

Complexity Is the Enemy of Execution 133

No Sales Process 133

Aligning the Three Processes of Sales 137

Chapter 16 Buying Process 139

Mapping the Buying Process 140

The Danger of Getting Out of Sync 140

Average Salespeople Dance 143

Shaping the Buying Process 143

Get There First 145

Leverage 147

Average Salespeople Become Buying Process Puppets 148

Chapter 17 The Five Stakeholders You Meet in a Deal 150

The Higher the Risk, the More Stakeholders Involved 151

Know Your Audience 152

Hearts Before Minds 154

BASIC 155

The One Question Ultra-High Performers Never Ask 157

BASIC Mapping 159

Chapter 18 Decision Process 160

Influencing the Decision Process 162

Aligning the Three Processes of Sales 163

The Five Questions That Matter Most in Sales 163

Aligning Decision Making with Social Proof 164

Chapter 19 Do I Like You? 166

No Second Chances with First Impressions 167

Likability: The Gateway to Emotional Connections 168

Connect 168

Pitch Slapping 170

Ten Keys to Being More Likable 172

Connecting Is the Gateway to Lowering Emotional

Walls and Discovery 173

Chapter 20 Flexing to Complement the Four Primary

Stakeholder Personas 175

Four Predominant Stakeholder Personas 176

Director (DISC Equivalent: Dominant) 177

Analyzer (DISC Equivalent: Conscientious) 178

Socializer/Energizer (DISC Equivalent: Influential) 179

Consensus Builder (DISC Equivalent: Steady) 180

Style Personas Shift 181

Chapter 21 Sales Call Agenda Framework 183

Greeting 184

Call Objective 187

Check Your Stakeholder’s Agenda 188

Frame the Conversation 192

Emotional Contagion: People Respond in Kind 194

Chapter 22 Do You Listen to Me? 197

Why People Don’t Listen 198

Four Principles of Effective Sales Conversations 199

The Fine Art of Listening 201

Active Listening 202

Listen Deeply 203

Activating the Self-Disclosure Loop 204

Chapter 23 Discovery: Sales Is a Language of Questions 207

The Tour 209

Alpha and Omega 211

Joe the Interrogator 212

Ask Easy Questions First 214

The Power of Open-Ended Questions 216

Avoid the Pump and Pounce 217

Fluid Dual Process Discovery 218

Developing Go-To Questions 221

Chapter 24 Do You Make Me Feel Important? 225

The Most Insatiable Human Need 226

How to Make People Feel Important 227

The Law of Reciprocity 229

Obligation and Win Probability 231

Chapter 25 Do You Get Me and My Problems? 232

You Can’t Differentiate When Everything Looks

the Same 234

The Age of Transparency 235

Do You Get Me? 236

People Buy for Their Reasons, Not Yours 237

The Power of Language 238

Message Matters 240

The “So What?” Smell Test 241

The Fine Art of Bridging 242

The Three-Step Bridging Framework 244

Chapter 26 Asking: The Most Important Sales Discipline 248

Closing 249

Afraid to Ask 250

The Assumptive Ask 252

Shut Up 254

Chapter 27 Turning Around Objections 258

How Salespeople Create Objections 259

Status Quo Bias and Why Buyers Object 260

You Cannot Argue Stakeholders Out of an Objection 263

Five-Step Objection Turnaround Framework 263

Chapter 28 Do I Trust and Believe You? 270

Emotional Baggage 271

You Are Always on Stage 272

One Brick at a Time 273

Chapter 29 Amache 275

Notes 281

Training and Workshops 288

About the Author 290

Acknowledgments 292

Index 294

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Author Information

JEB BLOUNT is CEO of Sales Gravy, Inc. He advises many of the world's leading organizations and their executives on the impact of emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills on customer experience, strategic account management, sales, and developing high-performing sales teams. He is the author of eight books, including Fanatical Prospecting, People Love You, People Follow You, and People Buy You.

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Press Release

March 13, 2017
Sales EQ

Sales EQ arms salespeople and sales leaders with the tools to identify their most important sales specific emotional intelligence developmental needs along with strategies, techniques, and frameworks for reaching ultra-high performance and earnings, regardless of sales process, industry, deal complexity, role (inside or outside), product or service (B2B or B2C). 

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