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Where emotional intelligence meets LinkedIn


Emotional Intelligence is defined as “the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships” according to Daniel Goleman, author of several books on the topic.  A large body of research supports it as a key predictor of success in life and business.

There are many emotional intelligence traits, and a key trait found in great salespeople is assertiveness.  Assertiveness involves the ability to communicate clearly and specifically, while at the same time being sensitive to the needs of others.  Let’s “link” the dots.

Social medial (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) can be a sales tool -- a shortcut if you understand how to use it; or an escape route and a time-sucking activity that creates the illusion of successful prospecting.

Scenario 1: Betty Busy gets to the office at 8 a.m. thinking she’ll get some emails done before the workday.  She checks email, Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, several newsletters and daily quotes.  Before long, it is 10:30, but she feels good about time well spent because she accepted three invites to link with people she just met.  She has over 500 people linked to her and has a nice fan base that follows her on Facebook.  She’s proud of her web presence.  She is fooling herself.

What does she lack?  Assertiveness

Here’s how someone with a high score of assertiveness uses social media.

Scenario 2: Meet Alice Assertive.  Alice starts her day at 8, logs on to LinkedIn and runs an advanced search to see what CEOs in the Denver area she may have mutual connections to and pulls up a list of over 150.  She has her assistant create a spreadsheet and sorts them by contacts she knows.  In 20 minutes, she has a list.  If her assertive score were mid-range, she might send an email asking for an introduction. But Alice’s score is high so she picks up the phone, calls the people she knows and asks them to set up a lunch with the person she wants to meet.  Fifteen minutes later, she has a lunch meeting set up for the following week with an ideal prospect.

Technology can be a great time-saving tool, but only if we are assertive enough to use it to our full advantage. Knowing what to say in a selling situation is important, but without the right amount of assertiveness, the words may never leave your lips.

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Merit Gest

Merit Gest is President & Founder of Merit-Based Development, a Denver based firm specializing in on-boarding top sales talent.  She is one of a small handful of specialists in the world certified and trained in Emotional Intelligence and Cultural Transformation Tools, giving her a unique perspective for hiring, on-boarding and retaining top sales talent.  Reach Merit at 720-980-1286 or Merit@MeritGest.com

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