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Maximize Your Emotional Intelligence
By Kevin Buffini
When you work by referral, your relationships drive your business. The better you connect with your clients, the more referrals you'll get and the more business you'll have.
 
At the center of it all is emotional intelligence, or EQ. A high EQ will not only help you build the foundation of your relationships with your clients; it may also earn you a 25 percent pay increase, as well. People with a high EQ have deeper connections with their clients and understand how to communicate with them, which often leads to higher commissions and more referrals.
 
Understand Your Communication Style
All of our One2One Coaching™ clients are given their Heritage Profile™, a report that outlines their dominant attributes and communication and work styles. We created the Heritage Profile as a tool to help our clients tap into their strengths and communicate more effectively with their clients, teams and loved ones. In short, it makes them aware of the positive and negative parts of their communication style so they can serve their clients better.
 
Your communication style is influenced by persuasion and tone. People fall into one of two categories of persuasion styles: motivator or facilitator. Motivators want to inspire and influence people to make a decision. Facilitators want to make a person feel comfortable by giving them several options to choose from. When you work with your clients, do you feel compelled to direct them through the process and help them decide or do you tend to give them many options—the more options the merrier—in order to help them come to their own conclusion?
 
How Does Communication Tie Into EQ?
When you're aware of your communication style, you understand what you say and the impact it has on other people. You know your words, gestures and demeanor have power, and this awareness allows you to tap into or minimize them depending on the style of the other person.
 
You can manage your emotions. Have you ever had a client yell or scream at you during a transaction? When you understand yourself, you can control your emotions and impulses, making you less likely to scream back. Instead of reacting to a client's emotional state, you'll take the opportunity to listen closely and focus on why they're upset so you can find the right solution.
 
You'll put yourself in your clients' shoes. Emotionally intelligent people are empathetic and able to understand what their clients are going through. Empathy is a critical skill to have as a salesperson—it allows to you dial into what your clients want and need. It involves listening, taking their feelings into account and working with them in a way they respond to, whether they're pragmatic or aesthetic or a motivator or facilitator.
 
You'll avoid potential conflicts. Conflicts often arise when people don't listen to one another and don't communicate with each other in the right way. The fifth habit in the book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," by Stephen Covey, is "seek first to understand, then to be understood." It's about having the discipline and emotional strength to withhold your own needs in order to listen to and understand the other person. When you understand how your clients prefer to communicate, you can adapt your style to it. Clients who are motivators want direction; be sure to give them the direction they need by offering your expertise to help them make a decision. Clients who are facilitators want to reach a decision themselves, but look to you to give them their options.
 
Clients want to work with you because of your expertise; they want to continue to work with you because they know you care. Tapping into your emotional intelligence and leaning into your communication style helps you guide your clients through the real estate process and make the best decision. Your clients know you have their best interests at heart. When you connect with your clients on an emotional level, they're sure to refer you to their family and friends. Want some daily affirmations to help you get in the right mindset when connecting with your clients? We've created a resource for you. Download it here.
 
For more information, please visit www.buffiniandcompany.com.

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