You’ve likely heard the familiar lament that the increasingly digital nature of our society is making the world an increasingly impersonal place. People do so much of their social interaction online, the theory goes, that they’re forgetting how “real” socialization works. The truth is that new technology has always changed the way we interact, but history shows that those changes are rarely as negative as they seem in real time. There are positive aspects to every change, too, if we choose to look for them.
The trick is learning to adapt your marketing and sales techniques to the realities of your environment. Social and emotional cues haven’t disappeared in the digital world, they’ve just changed. Emotional intelligence is one of the unsung keys to successful digital marketing, and recognizing those social cues is still as important as it’s ever been. Let’s take a closer look at emotional intelligence, and the role it plays in online marketing in Calgary and beyond.
What Is Emotional Intelligence?
Over at Hubspot, Corey Eridon defines emotional intelligence as, “the ability to absorb emotional cues and use it to guide behaviour.” Emotional intelligence is all about understanding where the person you’re interacting with is coming from, based on the sometimes unspoken clues that person provides. When you and your team better understand your customers, you can create marketing materials that speak more directly to their needs. In the same manner, emotional intelligence is a valuable tool for sales people. So, what are the characteristics of emotionally intelligent employees?
Interest in Others and Empathy
Emotionally intelligent employees are natural interested in other people, even those they’ve never met. It comes from a place of curiosity and a spirit of community. Your employee is interested in a customer for human reasons that go beyond generating a lead or closing a sale. People who are naturally interested in others also tend to demonstrate high levels of empathy, which benefits your online marketing in Calgary, and everywhere else.
When your employee can put themselves in another person’s shoes and understand what they feel, that employee will be ready to adapt to even the most challenging potential customers. Author and emotional intelligence expert Colleen Stanley explains the benefits of being “present” in an interaction. “When we are present,” Stanley says, “we are more attuned to what other people are thinking and feeling. As a result, we can redirect conversation and/or address issues that are not necessarily being said out loud.”
Self-Awareness and Self-Motivation
It’s not just about picking up on cues from others. Emotionally intelligent people also understand their own tendencies, and the ways those tendencies show up during interaction. By understanding their own tendencies, emotionally intelligent people are able to avoid inadvertently sending the wrong messages to customers and colleagues. This type of self-awareness is a benefit in any pursuit, but it’s especially useful in navigating the ever-changing world of online business.
Self-aware people are also able to generate internal motivation. They understand their own inner drive, their goals, and where they fit into the big picture. As Colleen Stanley puts it, people with that level of understanding “are on a journey of personal and professional improvement.”
Plays Well With Others
Sales and marketing are both team efforts, and emotionally intelligent employees are predisposed to fit into the team dynamic. Empathy and self-awareness help in this regard, but there’s more to it than that. Sometimes, a “people person” is really just someone who will do whatever they think is necessary to gain the approval of the people around them. Emotionally intelligent people, on the other hand, work to truly understand the needs and motivations at others, instead of simply guessing at what version of their personality that they’re colleagues will like best.
Emotional intelligence is as beneficial in the office as it is in the field. When your team members take the time to understand one another, collaboration becomes second nature. Your marketing and sales teams can then bring that same positive attitude to your customers in digital interactions. That means more sales, better relationships, and more effective real-time decision-making.
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