3 Quick Tips to Help You Gain Self-Confidence in Sales

Some say the path to self-confidence is through increasing your level of competence. If you apply yourself long and hard enough (they say), if you become an EXPERT in your particular product line or service area, you will naturally gain in confidence – and that confidence will be reflected by increased sales.

That sounds good, perhaps. In my experience, though. IT IS NOT TRUE.

Competence versus Confidence

Competence, by definition, is “The ability to do something successfully or efficiently.” Confidence, on the other hand, is “A feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.”

You see, it is entirely possible to be absolutely competent, yet not experience the self-assurance of confidence.Click To Tweet

In my work with executive management, sales teams, and service professionals, I often find that even the most competent (capable and talented) individuals are impeded in their progress by a lack of self-confidence during the sales process.

The FEAR of Sales

If the truth be told, most people are FEARFUL of sales presentations and negotiations. Ask them WHAT they fear, though, and most can’t put a finger on the cause.

Here’s the psychological basis of fear in sales: A fear of CRITICISM … and taken a step further … the fear of REJECTION.

One little word can drain your confidence and power instantly. You may have heard this word before: “No!”Click To Tweet

3 tips to boost your confidence (and your sales)

Let’s look at ways to deal with the fear that keeps you from meeting or exceeding your sales goals. These tips are field-proven. Don’t discount their power, and don’t worry about whether they will work for you.

Put these tips into action, and watch what happens with sales results:

1. As you’re gaining skills in sales, give yourself permission to forget being perfect. Instead, consider yourself ‘striving for excellence’ in Trust-Based Selling skills.

High performers (like you and me) have a tendency to strive for ‘flawless’ – and flawless is impossible.

My first mentor (my Dad!) many years ago, told me something I’ve never forgotten:

“Debbie, you’ll never be great until you’ve been good and you’ll never be good until you’ve been average. Rarely are you average without first being inferior, and you can’t even be that without getting out there and getting started!”

In other words, give yourself permission to be YOUR best at THIS moment in time, not THE best of ALL time.Click To Tweet

2.  Remember that, in Trust-Based Selling, your focus is on THEM not YOU!

You may not want to hear this, but ego is usually involved in the fear of criticism and rejection. You’re too concerned with what the other person is thinking of what you’re saying or doing – instead of your being concerned with what THEY are thinking and saying.

Remember, selling is NOT about you and YOUR NEEDS. At the highest level, sales is about making sure your product or service will benefit the prospect.

Focus on your prospects. What is important to THEM? What do THEY want and desire? What problems are THEY trying to solve?

(People are generally listening to radio station WIIFM – “What’s In It for Me?”)

I know, I know … putting the customer first in the sale sounds kind and generous; it’s a great idea, perhaps, but no salesperson EVER does that … right? Every sales meeting you’ve ever attended concentrated on ‘making the numbers’ and closing as many deals as you can. True story?

At the highest level, sales is about making sure your product or service will benefit the prospect.Click To Tweet

Unfortunately, sales training typically does tend to land on the side of “Do whatever you have to do to get that sale.” That is one reason why you and your team can quickly get to record-setting pace by learning a new approach.

I call that approach The Inevitable Sale because I believe that when you bring trust and integrity into the sales process – along with a sales strategy – and you master fundamental sales/communication skills,  the sale becomes … well … inevitable. …without being overbearing or self-serving.

You see, an interesting secret about sales is that buying is a very human phenomenon and we humans respond in predictable ways.

We do not like being ‘pitched,’ and we do not like being told what to do by those who don’t understand us or care about what we feel or perceive as important.

We do not like to buy from people we think are using us for their own purposes.Click To Tweet

That is why customers tend to enter the sales process in a ‘protective’ (if not adversarial) stance. It is OUR responsibility, as the leader in the sales conversation, to erase THEIR FEAR of us.

The quickest, surest way for others to TRUST that we care about their best interests is to put OUR needs, wants, desires (and, yes … even our self-reflective concern about how we’re being perceived) on the back burner and to put the prospect’s needs and interests TRULY in front of our own.

3. RESIST, RESIST, RESIST the temptation to become defensive.

Without a Trust-Based Sales strategy in place, exacerbated by a fear of criticism and fear of rejection (leading to a fear of sales) it is too easy to instantly become defensive when ‘criticism’ (also known as an “objection,” “challenge”, or “question”) arises during the sales process.

And once you become defensive (defending your point of view, yourself, or your product), the next step is to go into ‘convince’ mode.

Both stances weaken your confidence and compound your fears. The activation of the “defend and convince mode” normally spells the end of the sale.

Next week, let’s talk about a better approach – one that can WIN sales, rather than lose them.

Like my favorite mentor told me, “The quickest way to get over your fear of sales is to START SELLING!”

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