Just this morning in my news feed, I read a content marketing and sales headline “These are the skills you need to have.” The following thoughts quickly surfaced in my mind:
- Really, I need to have these skills of (leadership, sales, management, etc.)?
- What if I don’t have these skills?
- Will I be less successful without these skills?
The word “need” is filled with judgment and is probably one of the least emotionally intelligent words people in sales and marketing use on a daily basis. One can’t blame salespeople after all they are trained to “uncover wants and needs” in most sales training programs.
Return to a moment n your childhood and think about your parents or an adult telling you any of the following:
- You need to go to bed
- You need to make straight As
- You need to go to college
- You need to find a good job
- You need to visit your relatives
- You need… (the you need list is endless)
Every time I read about “you need” to do this or have this when it comes to SMB, sales, marketing to leadership, I inwardly cringe. For the last 10 years, I have attempted to remove this word, “need,” from my own executive coaching engagements, content marketing and sales conversations. I also encourage my clients to replace this highly emotional word with other phrases such as “Have you considered?”
Emotional intelligence is critical to successful marketing and sales. Jeb Blount founder of Sales Gravy is releasing on March 20, 2017 a book, Sales EQ: How Ultra High Performers Leverage Sales Specific Emotional Intelligence to Close the Complex Deal, dedicated to emotional intelligence specific to sales and one I recommend purchasing.
Of course changing an existing behavior is not easy. And for time strapped marketing and sales people having to speak a few extra words may prove frustrating. My advice is just remember how you emotionally felt years ago when you were told “you need” to do whatever. That memory should be enough to prompt you to change your behavior.