Many people think that in order to thrive in your career, you need to leave your emotions on the side. You need to be serious, focus on the task at hand, and simply direct your attention towards being as productive as possible. Logic and rational thinking win the day in the business world, so why let those pesky feelings get in the way?
That may be true in some aspects of business, such as accounting, but there are many areas where it actually pays to consult with your emotional side. We are all emotional creatures, and the businesses who understand that and provide an outlet for those emotions are going to win more customers than those who don’t.
Finding the right moments to tap into your feelings – or those of your customers – is a winning strategy. Here are four areas where having a high emotional IQ pays dividends.
1. Vulnerability Creates Connection
One of the most powerful ways to market your product and build a brand is by telling your story. Opening up about something that is deeply personal will inspire people who have been through similar things and even earn the respect of those who haven’t.
When we tell stories that we resonate with on a deep level, our audience can feel the same thing we do. They’re more engaged, they’re more focused, and they’re soaking up every detail of what you’re talking about. Creating this type of connection can be a foundational part of your business.
We bond over our vulnerabilities. If you can create this type of connection, you will find customers who are not only more likely to buy your products, they’re more likely to give you return business and referrals as well.
What part of yourself are you most scared to share? What gets you emotionally charged to the point where you may even experience a physical sensation, or cry, when you start to tell it? That is the story that’s going to get attention and win respect. Hey, we didn’t say it was going to be easy, but we are saying it’s going to be worth it.
2. Passion Is Your Best Motivator
Building a business based on your natural interests has a number of benefits. By pursuing something you are naturally drawn to, you will be much more motivated and happy to get to work every day. Any true entrepreneur will readily tell you that there are many hard days, especially in the beginning. The highs are high, but the lows are very low. On those low days, your passion may be the only driving force that keeps you motivated.
It will also result in you being more knowledgeable in your field. You will be able to dive deeper into research and know more about the material you are selling, the problems you are solving, and the people you are solving them for because it’s not something you need to force yourself to do, it’s something you want to do.
This will make you more trustworthy and means you will have more insights about what problems you should be attempting to solve and how to solve them. It will simply make you a better, more insightful entrepreneur. People can sense when you are passionate about something, and if it is apparent that you know your subject up and down, they will be much more apt to trust you and buy your products.
3. Knowing When to Trust Your Gut
You may have heard the saying, “It’s better to be lucky than good,” before. This can sometimes be true in business – like the miraculous case of Timothy Dexter – but leaving your business up to luck is not exactly what they teach at Harvard Business School. But what if you could create your own luck? What if you could find a way to tilt the odds of getting lucky in your favor?
A scientist named Richard Wiseman, who has researched lucky vs. unlucky people, suggests you can do just that. Wiseman found himself fascinated with what makes some people luckier than others, and he found trusting your hunches to be one of those determining factors. In other words, listening to your gut often puts you in a position to get lucky. People who are more apt to go out into the world and test things out rather than ruminate at home are luckier still.
Knowing when to trust your gut and follow your instinct can lead to great results. Although your feelings can’t achieve everything on their own, they are a result of rational thinking on the subconscious level, so your instincts are sometimes telling you something you haven’t had the opportunity to fully understand yet.
Stay curious, and if your gut is telling you to do something, at the very least you should strongly consider and investigate it. You never know what opportunities it might turn up.
4. Create Long-Term Relationships, Not ‘One-Night Stands’
If you’re solving emotional problems for your customers, if you’re connecting with them on a deep level, you are going to create a loyal client base that not only keeps rewarding you with their business, they’re going to talk you up to their friends. That is far more valuable than any marketing you can buy.
Companies like Nike and Lululemon sell more than just fitness gear, they help people establish an identity. You don your Nike shoes and you slip into a new state of mind where you’re ready to crush your run. When you put on your Lululemon, you are reminded of your love for yoga and keeping yourself in good shape. As a result, customers are willing to pay top dollar for such brands.
Creating long-term relationships with customers is a natural result of following your interests, sharing your story, and delivering great service. When people identify with who you are and feel that you understand their needs as well, a bond is created that is bigger than the product or service you provide. Deliver added value by creating a brand identity that improves people’s lives and you’ll have customers hook, line, and sinker!