How to use your emotional intelligence to win business

Using your emotional intelligence is crucial if you want to have an effective commercial process and build long-lasting client relationships.

It’s about getting under the skin of your clients and really understanding what makes them tick. What their pain points are. What keeps them up at night.

Far too many companies are so focused on what they offer, that they forget to find out what their clients actually want. Too many pitches are some version of ‘let us show you how amazing we are at this’, when the client is sitting there internally asking ‘but do you understand my problem and can you solve it?’

This happens because we naturally think inside to out – from our own perspectives first.

However, your clients’ needs and their point of view should drive your commercial effort.

For example, if you’re promising to make your client a better return (and everyone else is pitching the same thing), whilst your client’s real concern is whether you’ll provide a reliable, friction-free service that saves them time and stress, you’ll have missed your easiest route to winning their confidence and the deal.

The key is to flip your thinking. You need to think outside to in.

This isn’t something humans are great at doing naturally, so to help, create a CLIENT AVATAR.

Once you’ve done this you can use it as a fantastic shortcut to creating external comms, marketing and pitch materials that really speak to your clients.

Here’s how to generate your client avatar (do this solo or with your team):

Step 1:

Have an idea of a generic client – this could be an existing client or the type of person you typically sell to.

Step 2:

Get an outline of them at surface level, e.g. this is Dave, he has two kids, plays golf on Sundays, doesn’t like Strictly and manages a division of 100-200 people and a budget of x.

Step 3:

Delve deeper into their hopes and fears. What are Dave’s fears about how he’s viewed at work? Whose agenda does he need to satisfy and how is he judged? What does he go to bed worrying about? What are his goals for his division or company? What are his career aspirations and dreams?

Step 4:

Now think about how your service could help him to address these fears and achieve his goals. Also think about what his reservations about you and your company could be (both from his point of view and how he’ll sell and present you internally) and think about how you’d overcome these.

Step 5:

When you create your comms, materials and systems, do it with your avatar in mind. Choose words that resonate by answering their concerns or speaking to their goals, so that asking ‘how will my avatar view this’ rather than ‘how do I and my team view this’ becomes the norm.

Need some help?

If you’d like some help developing your company’s approach to using emotional intelligence to win business, contact us here for an initial discussion.