Have you ever watched a sporting event live or on television and seen the impact of confidence? A team of lower skill can defeat a team of greater skill if its confidence is significantly higher.
Confidence is even more critical in sales. The sales professionals who have the most confidence will often walk out the winners in a competitive bidding situation, even if their price is higher or their product is not superior.
The opposite is also true. They may have the best product in the world, but if they approach their prospects with low confidence, the sale may die.
1) Sources of confidence
The major sources of confidence are knowledge, skills and habit. Good salespeople must be educated about their prospects, as well as the features and benefits of their products or services. They must also be good listeners, be persuasive speakers and have the ability to problem-solve. Habitually building upon these elements will take salespeople to the next level.
2) Mental strategies
What we think has a great impact on our confidence and ability to sell. To determine mental confidence, consider your self-talk. What do you say to yourself when you wake up? Do you have thoughts about how successful or impactful you’re going to be? When you have a challenging sale, do you mentally review all the things that are going wrong, or do you keep telling yourself to stay tenacious and you’ll get the sale?
To have confidence as a salesperson, it’s a good idea to fill your mind with positive and encouraging thoughts.
3) Emotional strategies
Successful salespeople have known for years the power of tapping into emotional strategies for closing sales. They realize that emotional strategies have the potential to impact confidence and optimism at a deep level.
Example: Storytelling is an emotional strategy that can make a salesperson deliver a much more persuasive sale. Emotional confidence is crucial in closing the sale. Prospects will not usually reach a buying decision with a salesperson who talks a good game but has the “feel” of insecurity.
4) Action-oriented approaches
Your confidence is highly related to how you confront activities beyond your comfort zone.
Example: A salesperson who sees on the caller ID that an upset customer is calling and fails to pick it up may lose a great deal of confidence. The avoidance undermines confidence.
It’s usually a good idea to take the thing you fear and break it down into sequential steps. Start with the step you fear least. Once you feel comfortable with achieving that step, move on to the next one. Eventually, you’ll be able to do the thing that makes you fearful and that undermines your confidence.
5) Negative vs. positive relationships
The relationships around us can dramatically increase or decrease our level of confidence. If you are surrounded by negative people, your confidence will get drained, and your ability to close the sale will diminish.
Try to develop a zero tolerance for negativity. Negative people are just negative to be negative. They shouldn’t be confused with venting or problem-solving people who are negative but with a purpose. People who identify challenges and help solve them are invaluable.
Some salespeople tend to either avoid conflict or deal with it poorly. This can create bad situations such as over-promising to a demanding customer or having difficulty saying “no.”
Salespeople who walk into a conflict imagining a positive outcome and a variety of win-win solutions have a much better chance of achieving a good conclusion. By confidently dealing with objections and resolving conflicts, they create winning situations for themselves and their customers.