Confidence plays a major role in sales. Competent salespeople don’t only feel confident, others view them as confident as well.
If you want to excel in sales, building confidence should be a focus for you. Confidence changes the way you speak and conduct yourself. It ultimately impacts how you approach sales challenges. Without confidence, you won’t be able to produce optimal results.
Building trust in your ability to sell can be done in various ways. Here are some strategies you should implement.
Remember previous successes
The way we conduct ourselves is heavily influenced by the things we think about the most. These past victories are markers of a time where you performed your best. That big sale last week, the upgrade you closed with a major existing client, or even scoring an appointment with a major decision maker are all proof that you have the skills to do your job.
Each time you feel like you’re not capable of accomplishing a sales task at hand, think of these wins. The more you use this technique, the better your confidence will be.
Compile client case studies
Case studies are detailed client testimonials that are meant to showcase how businesses use your product and how it has helped them. Conversely, it is also a testament to your ability to win business for your company.
Interview clients you’ve worked with successfully and get to the meat of how your company’s solutions have impacted their business. Take the time to flesh out the details.
Client case studies do not only help boost your confidence as a sales professional, it also is a marketing tool that provides social proof to your company’s claims.
Visualize yourself in sales situations
Think of a sales situation you’re anxious about. It could be a presentation, a big appointment, a client meeting, or even cold calls. Visualize yourself doing all the right things and being confident in these situations. Take note of all the details. How you act, what you think about, how you move, and most importantly, how you speak. Compare this to the “worst case scenario” you’ve been running in your head. Do this for a few times leading to the situation you’ve been dreading.
Learn how to accept compliments
Lots of us are guilty of not knowing how to accept compliments. Most people would brush off compliments with an “Oh, it’s nothing”. People do this as they’re afraid to sound arrogant and over-confident. The truth is that when you do this, you are refusing the compliment rather than accepting it.
The best way to react to a compliment is by responding with a simple “Thank you”. This might feel awkward at first and you might even feel like you’re sounding overconfident. But once you make this a habit, you will realize that this response is far better than how you used to reply to compliments. At the same time, the person who complimented you will also feel like the kudos they gave was appreciated.
Run a quick post-sale Q&A
After a closed deal, salespeople usually just pass the client on to the onboarding team. Have you ever considered asking the client why they decided to buy from you? Maybe even asking them for comments on their buying experience?
Most clients, especially in B2B, shouldn’t have a problem giving you necessary feedback. You might be surprised at how much information you can glean from these post-sale Q&As. You will also get insight as to why they bought from you and not from competitors. This will give you a confidence boost as, surely, most of these conversations will involve mentioning your strengths and the things you did right throughout the process.
Keep a journal of successes
When’s the last time you thought about your biggest sale? Do you even remember how much you sold last year? In moments of sales anxiety and dread, returning to these wins are key to boosting your confidence. However, if you don’t personally keep a log of your closed deals and other successes, it’s difficult to pull them up from your internal memory bank.
Keep a tab on your successes–big and small–through a personal journal. If you’re having a hard time seeing yourself as a capable salesperson, you probably underappreciate and even minimize your own wins. Minimizing successes has been a common practice in many avenues of life, not only sales and business. Somehow, people like that keeping tabs on our own accomplishments makes us “airheads”. The truth is, knowing our successes help us remind ourselves of things we are capable of and what things we still need to improve.
Having this list handy will surely build your confidence and allow you to face sales challenges chin-up as they come.
Speak with confidence
A big part of being confident and being perceived as confident is speaking with authority. The first step is actually knowing what you’re talking about. It goes without saying but you need to do thorough research on all your prospects and brush up on your sales process and product knowledge before picking up that phone.
Here are two techniques you can use to sound more confident when speaking.
Use the power of the pause
The best salespeople are those who ask great questions and listen intently to the responses. One of the best ways to get meaningful responses and sound more confident is to simply pause before continuing to speak or responding.
Confidence is exuded when you are in control of the conversation. Instead of saying the first thing that comes into your mind, take a couple of seconds to pause quietly and wait if the prospect wants to add anything else. Be comfortable with silence. Know that this is part of being confident and speaking with authority.
Add emphasis to your words
One of the best things you can do to exercise confidence in speaking is to emphasize your words. Speaking with authority requires you to be a little bit more deliberate when you say key portions of your sentences. Combined with the pause technique, emphasizing certain words in your statements gives off the impression of control.
Be careful to not sound angry when you’re putting emphasis on your words. Don’t raise your voice. Instead, add force to it, not volume. The key is to sound sure and in control.
Make sure that the ends of your sentences do not go up in pitch. Doing this will make you sound like you’re asking a question, and takes away credibility from your statements.
Keep these tips in mind and make sure you make them part of your routine. Practice makes perfect.
Putting these tips into practice will not only make you a better salesperson, it will impact your results and help your career move towards the right direction.
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