Sales Success Starts with “Know Thyself!”

Selling is an emotional business that requires sales professionals to have a high level of emotional intelligence if they want to succeed. Emotional intelligence refers to originators’ ability to recognize, understand, and manage their emotions as well as those of their prospects and customers.

This is not news. While sales candidates might be attracted to a potential six-figure income, unless they are self-aware enough to have mastered their own emotional needs, mortgage origination will be a poor career choice.

The mortgage industry’s average turnover rate is a staggering 35% — a clear indicator that the majority of originators do not possess the emotional intelligence needed to connect with prospects and generate new business.


Primary Reasons for Poor Performance

There are two types of under-performers in mortgage origination:

  1. Candidates who do not have the sales talent required.
  2. Candidates who have the sales talent but are unable to consistently perform.

Managers can avoid hiring those in the first group by implementing a structured interviewing process which reveals a candidate’s relationship and drive skills. Candidates in the second group have the personality traits needed for sales success but may have other deficits such as low emotional intelligence that prevent them from achieving production goals.


Personality Traits Vs. Emotional Needs

Let’s take a deeper look at the differences between personality traits and emotional needs. Personality traits are patterns of thoughts and behaviors that are persistent over time. Emotional needs are feelings or conditions that must be met for individuals to feel happy and fulfilled.

When originators are trying to persuade prospects to do business with them over the competition, they need to understand their own emotional needs first before they can influence the prospect’s decision-making process. Similarly, originators should sell in a way that addresses the customer’s emotional needs.

Here are the basic emotional needs every person has:

  1. To give and receive attention.
  2. To feel safe and secure.
  3. To heed the mind-body connection.
  4. To have a sense of purpose and meaning.
  5. To feel a sense of connection to community and of making a difference.
  6. To be stretched, to be creative, and to face manageable challenges.
  7. To experience intimacy.
  8. To feel a sense of control.
  9. To feel a sense of status; to feel valued, appreciated, and respected.

Here’s an example of how need for attention might impact a salesperson’s results. If an originator has a strong need for attention, he or she will talk at length and expect a consumer to listen. However, when the consumer speaks, the producer can’t seem to maintain focus. Instead of truly listening to the prospect, the originator uses that time to rehearse what he or she will say next.

Sales professionals like this are hard to be around and are not likely to earn the business because their emotional need for attention is so large that it eclipses their ability to listen to someone else. In this scenario, there is no way the originator can meet the prospect’s emotional needs. While the originator might have the talent to sell, failure to master his or her own emotional needs ultimately leads to poor sales results.

Sales success always starts with “Know Thyself.”