Why is self-confidence so important in sales? Frankly, people like being around confident people. Confidence is attractive.
The more confident you feel, the better your conversations will be when meeting with a prospect, and the better you’ll feel about how your process went. I have a few ideas on how to improve your self-confidence.
Before I get started, I have to point this out: There is a significant difference between confidence and arrogance. Whereas confidence is attractive, arrogance has a repellant quality.
Pay attention to this difference, and realize that confidence isn’t about being cocky—it’s about being confident in what you do and how you do it. I’ve identified three major ways to increase your self-confidence in sales.
1. Let Your Body Talk
First, pull your shoulders up to your ears. Now roll them back and drop them. That’s where your shoulders should be, and that’s where they belong. When you want to walk confidently into a room, just remember to roll your shoulders back and shake it out before you cross the threshold.
Next, evaluate your handshake, and focus on warm, steady eye contact. Significant change can happen when you address these things. Just by altering your body language, you can appear more confident to others and, by extension, bolster your confidence in yourself.
2. Pump Yourself Up
How you speak to yourself matters. Earl Nightingale said it best when he said,“You are now, and you do become, what you think about.” Improving your self-talk is a fast way to boost your confidence.
If you think that a meeting is going to go poorly, it’s likely that it could go poorly. But if you say, “I’ve got this. I’ve been practicing my script. They need me. They’re going to move forward,” right before you walk into that meeting, you may be surprised by how much better the outcome can be.
3. Know Your Stuff
Nobody is going to buy anything from a salesperson who seems to be making it up as they go along. Take the time necessary to study, learn, and manage everything you need to know to speak confidently about your product or service.
If you’re in a new role, that means you’ll have to study even more. A new role in sales is almost like a second job because you’re doing “homework” every night to learn your new brand.
You may have noticed that these three tips fall into distinct categories: Physical (body language), Emotional (self-talk), and Mental (product knowledge). Where you are in your career journey will dictate which of these you need to work on most.
The Full Picture of Sales Self-Confidence
Maybe you know your product, but your self-talk sucks. Or your self-talk is great, but you’re just winging it in presentations because you don’t actually know your product inside and out. Maybe you talk yourself up before every meeting and have a great grip on your product, but you’re an introvert who was never really taught that posture and eye contact matter.
We all have blind spots where we can improve. Examine your process to find yours, and then commit to working on it. You’ll foster a sense of sales self-confidence that your prospects will find undeniably attractive.
Until next time—go sell some stuff!