Sales Eq | Jeb Blount

Summary of: Sales Eq: The 5 Questions That Matter Most to Closing the Deal
By: Jeb Blount

Introduction

In Sales EQ, Jeb Blount explores the key elements that contribute to successful sales, focusing on the essential role of emotions, trust, and empathy in engaging potential customers and closing deals. The book highlights the importance of understanding and managing your own emotions, as well as those of others, to connect with prospects and truly cater to their needs. Sales EQ reveals the psychological aspects of sales, aiming to demystify the buyer’s behavior, and offers practical strategies and tactics to develop a salesperson’s ability to empathize and build trust with their clients.

Creative Disruption in Sales

Art, a salesman, was struggling to sell his company’s truck leasing services to a baker who deemed their prices too high. Art invited his mentor, Joe, to their meeting, and Joe successfully sealed the deal using a brown paper bag and disrupting the buyer’s expectations. By asking the baker what made his bread worth the price, Joe activated dopamine in the baker’s brain, making him feel good about himself and wanting to reciprocate. Joe then compared Art’s services to artisanal bread, using the buyer’s language and logic, which made the baker feel understood and gained his trust. The key message is that the best salespeople creatively disrupt role expectations to score the deal.

The Power of Emotions in Buying

As buyers, we tend to think we make rational choices when purchasing goods. However, research has shown that our buying patterns are heavily influenced by emotions. Even for significant purchases like stocks, people are more likely to invest if the company’s name is easier to pronounce. The sales process is also driven by emotions. The salesperson starts with logical pitches but eventually becomes emotional in fear of losing the sale, while the buyer’s first thought is whether they like the salesperson. Understanding and connecting with the buyer’s emotions at every stage of the sales process is essential to becoming an ultra-high seller.

The Power of Reducing Cognitive Dissonance in Sales

Human beings have a natural desire for consistency in beliefs and actions, leading to emotional discomfort when faced with cognitive dissonance. Such discomfort can interfere with a salesperson’s efforts to sell their product, as contradictory information can raise a prospect’s dissonance. However, salespeople can avoid such issues by reducing a prospect’s cognitive dissonance. By activating a person’s negativity bias through asking about positive attributes of their current vendor, salespeople can prime them to think of negative aspects as well, potentially reducing cognitive dissonance. The result? Higher chances of making a sale without causing emotional distress.

Empathy in Sales

High-performing salespeople use empathy to help buyers navigate their emotions and purchases. A great example is Karen, the top salesperson at a jewelry store who understands the emotional needs and financial concerns of young couples shopping for engagement rings. By seeking out clues with casual conversations, Karen customizes the experience, recommends viable ring options, and avoids pushing customers away with overly expensive offerings. The key message is that empathy is an essential skill for sales. A naturally empathetic person tends to attribute other people’s behavior to situational circumstances, while less empathetic people attribute behavior to the offender’s personality. Salespeople who may need to work harder can improve by cultivating empathy and putting themselves in other people’s shoes.

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