What is behavioral intelligence
In the world of sales, there is a powerful tool that separates the top performers from the rest: behavioral intelligence. This skill involves the ability to read, understand, and respond to the emotions and behaviors of customers, ultimately leading to better sales outcomes. In this blog post, we will explore why behavioral intelligence is a seller's superpower and how you can develop this skill to excel in sales.
First, let's define behavioral intelligence. At its core, this skill involves the ability to accurately read and interpret nonverbal cues from customers, such as body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions. By paying close attention to these cues, sellers can gain valuable insights into the customer's emotional state, needs, and preferences. This information can then be used to tailor the sales approach to better meet the customer's needs and ultimately close more deals.
So why is behavioral intelligence so critical to sales success? For one, it helps sellers build stronger relationships with customers. By demonstrating that they understand and care about the customer's needs, sellers can establish trust and rapport, which can lead to greater customer loyalty and repeat business.
Additionally, behavioral intelligence can help sellers overcome objections and close more deals. By reading the customer's nonverbal cues, sellers can quickly identify objections and concerns and tailor their pitch to address them directly. This can help the customer feel more confident in their decision to make a purchase, ultimately leading to a successful sale.
So how can you develop your behavioral intelligence as a seller? Here are a few tips:
1. Practice active listening
One of the key components of behavioral intelligence is the ability to listen actively to the customer. This means paying close attention to what they say, as well as their nonverbal cues.
Active Listening Skills: A Beginner's Guide
This guide from MindTools provides tips and techniques for practicing active listening, including how to give the speaker your full attention and how to show that you're listening.
2. Study body language
Reading body language is a critical aspect of behavioral intelligence. Spend time studying different nonverbal cues and what they might mean in different contexts.
Here is a good way to start: "The Definitive Book of Body Language" by Allan and Barbara Pease:
3. Practice empathy
Empathy is another important component of behavioral intelligence. Try to put yourself in the customer's shoes and understand their perspective.
To get started, try these resources:
- "Empathy: Why It Matters, and How to Get It" by Roman Krznaric: https://www.amazon.com/Empathy-Why-Matters-How-Get/dp/0399171401
- "The Art of Empathy: A Complete Guide to Life's Most Essential Skill" by Karla McLaren: https://www.amazon.com/Art-Empathy-Complete-Lifes-Essential/dp/1622030635/
- TED talk by Simon Sinek on empathy: https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_why_good_leaders_make_you_feel_safe
4. Ask questions
To better understand the customer's needs and preferences, ask open-ended questions that allow them to share their thoughts and feelings.
These resources will teach you what you need to know about asking questions for better sales performance
- "The Challenger Sale" by Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon: https://www.amazon.com/Challenger-Sale-Control-Customer-Conversation/dp/1591844355/
- "SPIN Selling" by Neil Rackham: https://www.amazon.com/SPIN-Selling-Neil-Rackham/dp/0070511136
- "Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others" by Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas: https://www.amazon.com/Power-Questions-Relationships-Influence-Others/dp/1118119630
5. Seek feedback
Finally, ask for feedback from customers and colleagues to better understand how you can improve your behavioral intelligence and sales performance.
Read these to be a master of feedback:
- "Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well" by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen: https://www.amazon.com/Thanks-Feedback-Science-Receiving-Well/dp/0143127136
- "Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High" by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler: https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Conversations-Talking-Stakes-Second/dp/1469266822/
- "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable" by Patrick Lencioni: https://www.amazon.com/Five-Dysfunctions-Team-Leadership-Fable/dp/0787960756/
Artificial intelligence create better conversations
Technology has revolutionized the way sellers approach behavioral intelligence. With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision, it is now possible to analyze a customer's body language and compare it to the context of the meeting for maximum accuracy. By leveraging these tools, sellers can gain a deeper understanding of the customer's emotions and needs, and tailor their sales approach accordingly.
Computer vision is a particularly powerful tool in this regard. This technology uses cameras and sensors to track the customer's movements, facial expressions, and tone of voice, and analyzes this data in real-time and as a post-call analysis. The AI algorithms can then use this information to identify patterns and trends in the customer's behavior, and provide insights into their needs and preferences.
But technology isn't just benefiting the customer. It can also help sellers improve their own behavioral intelligence and sales performance. By analyzing the seller's body language, AI algorithms can identify best practices and provide coaching to help improve sales techniques. For example, if the seller tends to fidget or avoid eye contact, the AI algorithm can provide tips on how to appear more confident and engaged with the customer.
Additionally, AI can provide real-time feedback during a sales call, highlighting areas where the seller can improve their approach. This can include everything from adjusting the tone of voice to using more effective body language. By providing this feedback in real-time, sellers can adjust their approach on the fly and improve their chances of making a successful sale.
Furthermore, AI-powered sales coaching can be customized to meet the individual needs of each seller. The algorithms can analyze a seller's performance over time and provide personalized coaching to address their specific strengths and weaknesses. This can help sellers develop their skills more quickly and effectively, ultimately leading to better sales outcomes.
In conclusion, technology has revolutionized the way sellers approach behavioral intelligence. By leveraging AI and computer vision, sellers can gain a deeper understanding of the customer's needs and preferences, while also improving their own sales techniques. As these technologies continue to evolve, we can expect to see even greater advances in the field of behavioral intelligence, and an increasing number of successful sales professionals who have mastered this powerful skill.
To summarize, behavioral intelligence is a critical skill for sellers who want to excel in their field. By developing this skill, you can build stronger relationships with customers, overcome objections, and ultimately close more deals. So take the time to practice active listening, study body language, practice empathy, ask questions, and seek feedback, and you'll be well on your way to becoming a top-performing sales professional.