Successful Selling\'s Critical Ingredient
Confidence is a salesperson's biggest asset because confidence exudes credibility, which goes to believability. This article provides three steps to develop confidence. Once confidence is attained, sales will close faster and easier.
Confidence is a salesperson’s biggest asset. Confident people exude confidence and others pick-up on it. It opens doors because confident people are believable. People talk with confident people because they seem credible and people listen to credible people. Confident people are not bothered by rejection. They feel it’s the rejecter’s loss. These are big tools for a salesperson.
There are three ways to get confident: (1) Prepare yourself professionally, (2) Prepare for the situation, and (3) Prepare yourself mentally.
Learning the correct behaviors of selling and making them into habits is critical for our success and our confidence. Most of us picked-up selling through the school of hard knocks. Some of the behaviors we picked-up are just not effective and there are other behaviors we never learned. However the toughest thing for an adult is to change behaviors or add new ones. It is fraught with fear of losing something we know or fear of the effort to learn and implement.
Learning about selling is poorly handled in most companies. It is usually limited to product training, which is run by the Marketing Department and we leave with the message to tell everybody about our products and that we’re better than our competitors. Little about the process of selling is discussed.
Therefore we go out and tell the world and get rejected most of the time. This is because people don’t want to be told, cajoled or convinced. We then tend to rationalize about price and competition, but the rejection hurts and leads to negative self-worth.
Learning requires studying, coaching, trying, assessing, more coaching, correcting and trying again. The process continues forever.
Preparing for the Situation
Just as Tiger walks the course or takes practice shots from various locations before a match, you too must prepare for the situation. Think of times when you’ve had pre-call reviews with your team before important meetings. You probably felt pretty confident going into the sales calls. Without preparation you probably felt nervous and uneasy. This is fear, and fear destroys confidence.
Whenever I have a meeting, I call the people that will be in the meeting and ask them, one on one, their expectations of the meeting. I usually have the person who arranges the meeting warn everyone who I will call that I’m going to call. This gets me past voice mail and administrative assistants.
When I make contact, I say, “I’m just calling to confirm our meeting and to learn your expectations of the meeting so that I can prepare and not bore you with grizzly details that you don’t care about. So, what are your expectations for this meeting?” Then I listen and take notes.
This pre-meeting call is extremely powerful. I learn a great deal about the person and his/her issues, situation, opportunities, wants, etc. It also establishes a rapport between us. The person begins to trust me. I’ve shown professionalism and respect for his/her time. I certainly know the person better, and when I meet him/her in person it is invariably more cordial and friendly.
Another thing I do before the meeting is a sales call plan. Based on my pre-call, I know what I have to learn. I’m prepared to present what’s important to each person in a way that differentiates me from the competition. I’m also prepared to ask for commitment and to deal with objections or issues. This preparation is extremely effective for building credibility and making me feel confident. The people feel this confidence and it becomes easy to move forward. This preparation eliminates the anxiety and negative projections that destroy confidence.
Prepare Yourself Mentally
Confidence is the feeling of being capable to handle the situation and the feeling of being worthy to meet with these people. We are confident in some situations and not confident in others. We are not born confident. We develop confidence by the way we are raised and by the way we project what we are about to face.
Confidence comes from within -- getting over self-doubt. Since we know we are capable -- we can talk to people that we have sold to before -- so it must be about our feeling of self-worth. We tend to put influential decision-makers on power pedestals because they control the decision to buy. This person controls my destiny and this establishes fear. You’ve also been conditioned that this important person is busy and doesn’t want to spend her valuable time with you. Instead think this way, “Hey, like this is my only account, … and like I’m not busy.”
Now if this person has expressed an interest and agreed to a meeting, she wants our information. She may have delegated this to a subordinate, but remember delegation just means do the legwork. She will make the final decision and has to get the information from someone. She has a job to do. She has challenges. She needs someone to help her. That someone should be you because you are the most capable.
Confidence also comes from positive projection. Make positive statements to yourself and others such as, “This interview will go great,” and believe it. See yourself relaxed and having a calm positive conversation with this executive. You need to stay positive. Say to yourself and others, “Even if she doesn’t want what I have, it’s OK,” and believe it. “She may not be ready for change. This is her state of mind. It has nothing to do with me,” and believe it. “She has other priorities. She’s already developed a relationship with someone else. So what?. People have multiple relationships,” and believe it.
The key is to go in positive and this will keep you confident. If you go in with the thought that you have nothing to lose, you’ve already lost. You have no confidence, only failure, and you create your destiny -- the eventual failure.
Tiger Woods hits shots into the water, ruff and sand traps. Nowhere along the way does he feel incapable or not worthy of the task at hand. He is secure and/or comfortable. He may be nervous, but that’s healthy and normal. He just visualizes and pumps himself up for the recovery -- something he excels at.
Positive self worth, positive projection and getting pumped up will lead to confidence. This has to come from within, and the best way to draw from your strengths is to prepare yourself professionally and mentally, and prepare for the situation.And now I invite you to learn more.
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