Emotions and Business
Some women entrepreneurs believe their natural inclinations to feel emotions are like a curse they have to suppress. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Our ability to feel, sense and manage emotions is actually our superpower. Emotional intelligence is innate in our DNA. Women are good at putting themselves in someone else’s shoes and seeing challenges from different perspectives. This helps us solve problems for our businesses and customers. We’ve been trained all our lives to connect emotionally, and that ability is an asset with real economic value. We can usually sell more and develop lasting customer connections.
Emotions are important for the success of any business because they can influence its profitability. Since women are more likely than men to connect emotionally with people, we have a direct impact on customer satisfaction, business relationships, workplace environment and employee turnover rate. Creativity, planning, negotiations, and decision making are also greatly affected by our emotions.
A crucial part of emotional intelligence is empathy. That’s the ability to feel what another person is feeling. It involves not only reading someone else’s emotions but also sharing them. To build and maintain a customers’ trust, it’s essential that customers feel we genuinely care about them. Research shows that women generally demonstrate greater empathy than men.
When it comes to customer service and employee teamwork, emotions are essential. By amplifying empathy and applying emotional intelligence, customer satisfaction increases because they feel like someone understands their problems. The same is true for employees. Staff work together better and stay with the company longer if they feel valued and appreciated.
Emotions in Marketing
Emotions are the key to successful marketing. We have to appeal to the feelings of our customers. What comes from the heart reaches the heart. Everyone has probably experienced this personally with emotional shopping. The more people feel, the more they will buy; if we boost sales, profits grow.
It doesn’t matter how creative or entertaining a marketing campaign is. If there is no emotional connection with the target audience, the marketing strategy will be unsuccessful. It has been proven that campaigns which trigger people’s emotions are twice as likely to have a positive effect on business. That’s why many marketers are interested in emotions. They have come to the conclusion that when it comes to brand building, customer retention or sales conversions, temptation works better than persuasion. A customer is more likely to make a purchase on impulse than by reasoning.
Women, Emotions and Sales
Most women have an advantage when it comes to sales which is the mainstay of any business. We can use our superpower to attract customers who are thrilled to work with us and willing to pay well for the value we add to their lives. Our emotion and affinity for shopping gives us the ability to understand customers on a different level.
Traditional salespeople will do whatever it takes like reaching out blindly to prospects, cold calling and other aggressive, impersonal tactics. They ignore or push past objections while sticking to a script, and try to talk the other person into saying yes. In contrast, when emotional intelligence is at the center of the sales process, the primary aim is to learn what the customer’s needs or problems are by listening, not just to respond, but to understand. We get into the customer’s head by paying attention not only to what they’re saying, but also how they’re saying it. Our focus is on serving the other person, instead of expressing ourselves. Women entrepreneurs who adopt this emotionally informed sales process find that it works better and feels better for everyone concerned.
My Entrepreneurship Coaching Example
Let’s take a look at my entrepreneurship coaching business as an example. My ideal customer is a woman, possibly single mother, who wants to stop working herself to death on low-paying jobs with no future. She either wants to start her own business and has a great idea or already made an attempt but realizes she can’t do it alone. Before she found me on Instagram, she was feeling pretty hopeless. She probably felt her dreams of becoming a business owner and attaining financial independence was impossible. She experienced anxiety about feeling inadequate, confusion about what to do next, and shame for not living up to being able to give her children a better life.
That is obviously not someone who’s ready to shell out a lot of money for high-end business coaching and enthusiastically dive into a program. She needs to feel convinced that with my help, her problem is solvable, I have the right solution for her, my products and services can be adapted to her already hectic schedule and she will be capable of producing the results she wants. My job is to lead her down that path from anxiety and self-doubt to trust and self-empowerment. I am able to show her that I empathize and genuinely care because that was me several years ago. I understand how she feels better than most because of my similar situation which is why I try to make sure my products and services are affordable, straight-to-the-point and easy to implement. I cannot in good conscious charge ridiculously high prices that would benefit me to the detriment of others.
Empathy is just one facet of the emotional intelligence that’s necessary to excel at sales. Another is managing emotions. We have to disconnect our ego from the results of the sale and train our employees to do the same. If we’re emotionally hung up on whether we’ll get a yes or no, we will not be able to listen with empathy and adapt our response to the customer’s needs. Otherwise, we will interpret every objection, question or refusal as a personal attack, and that can take its toll on our self-worth. If we allow ourselves to feel angry, dejected or nervous, we’ll be amazed at how quickly the sales process can unravel.
We need to shift our perspective: the sale isn’t about us at all—it’s about the customer. If we’re thinking too much about ourselves, we’ll get stuck in our own head when we really need to be in the customer's head. They need us to help them solve a problem, so the more we focus on listening to them and showing how our solution will improve their situation, the easier it will be to take our ego out of the equation.
For those who have trouble managing their emotions during sales conversations, I recommend using practices like affirmations and meditation to get in the right mindset. Also, during the conversation, you should check in with yourself occasionally and ask who you’re paying attention to, yourself or the customer. If these simple practices are applied regularly, and there’s a commitment to changing mindsets, sales conversations will no longer be dreaded but approached with excitement and a sense of possibility.
Get on the Same Page with Your Customer
With the ego in check, you can meet your customers where they are emotionally. Incompatible vibes are uncomfortable to say the least. Imagine being a woman on a mission who’s ready to get the job done but the salesperson is so laidback they are almost indifferent. Would that be the right person for you to do business with?
You want your customer to feel that you or your representative is on the same page, so their positive emotional state and energy level should be matched at the start of the sales conversation. This will make them more cooperative as they are guided towards a more compliant emotional state. However, if someone is frustrated, don’t go back and forth with them in annoyance. Show some understanding that you get their frustration and point them to a solution for their irritating problem.
Pay Attention to Your Emotions
From now on, make a conscious effort to pay close attention to your emotional intelligence. It can be strengthened just by going about your daily life. Keep doing what you do: working, studying, shopping, playing, socializing, caring for others, etc. Only now, you should be more aware of the emotions of those around you as well as your own.
Cultivating your emotional intelligence is good for all relationships, but pay special attention to how it affects business interactions both as a business owner and a customer. Now, whenever you buy something, notice your feelings and try to identify where they come from.
If you deliberately practice this, your awareness will be heightened and emotional intelligence strengthened. Soon you’ll feel like you can almost read your customers’ minds! You’ll be quick to empathize and create lasting connections that will serve you, your brand, and most importantly, your customers, for the entire life of your business.
Women Entrepreneurs, Pinnacle Digital Academy wants you to wear your emotions proudly like a superhero cape! Use your superpowers to succeed in business and build generational wealth for your family! Our goal is your success. Check out our eBooks and other blog posts on relevant business topics at our website, www.pinnacleatl.com.