Weekend Reading: “Sales EQ” by Jeb Blount

For the 115th episode of The Marketing Book Podcast, I interviewed Jeb Blount, author of “Sales EQ: How Ultra High Performers Leverage Sales-Specific Emotional Intelligence to Close the Complex Deal.”

Jeb Blount explains that 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.

As a result, the sales world is 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.

So what are the top 1 percent of salespeople doing?

In an where information is ubiquitous and buyer attention spans are fleeting, the top performing salespeople have learned how to leverage a new psychology of selling to keep prospects engaged, create true competitive differentiation, as well as shape and influence buying decisions.

Sales EQ 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.

From Chapter 3 “The Irrational Buyer”…

Selling is human. Buying is human. Both pursuits are woven into the imperfect fabric of human emotions. No matter what you sell, your sales cycle, or the complexity of the sales and buying process, emotions play a crucial role in the outcomes of your sales conversations, interactions, and deals.

Each time you (and the members of your selling team) and each stakeholder involved in the buying decision meet, those emotions collide.

Most salespeople begin the sales process from a position of logic and gradually shift toward emotion. In contrast, buyers tend to begin the buying process at the emotional level and over time shift toward logic.

At the beginning of the sales process, the buyer is asking a basic question about the salesperson: Do I like you? In the same moment, the seller is delivering a pitch on product features they believe will generate interest from the buyer.

Few things make sellers more unlikable than pitching. And so it goes throughout the buying journey. By the end of the sales process when the buyer is asking rational questions, putting objections on the table, and negotiating, the seller is reacting emotionally to perceived rejection, desperate not to lose the deal.

A bit more about the book…

Douglas Burdett is the Principal of Artillery, a B2B marketing agency and is host of The Marketing Book Podcast. He is a former artillery officer, Madison Avenue ad man and stand-up comedian.

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