Sales is about the transfer of confidence. In this Q&A, we discuss five ways you can build your confidence to improve your sales results.
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Being confident is a critical skill, and it's something that can be learned and practiced. Sales is about the transfer of confidence. You're transferring your confidence in your solution, and that you're the best option, from yourself to the client. I often ask if you can't convince yourself that you're the best solution, how do you expect the customer to come to that conclusion?
So, the first key is to put yourself in the customer's shoes.
Understand their perspective and their pain, and you'll do a lot better to connect with that individual and build confidence, and you'll understand better how to help.
It was Henry Ford who said, "If there's one secret to success, it lies in the ability to get to the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own." Well, I couldn't agree more. The more you can understand their perspective and then try to resolve that issue or solve that problem, the more you'll be in a position to walk in more confident and gain their trust and their confidence as well.
The second point has to do with understanding the unique value you bring.
In a sales situation, you need to work hard first to understand their problem and then understand how you can uniquely solve it.
What are the aspects of your solution that are differentiated? How can you redefine or reimagine the solution in ways that maybe the competition hasn't, and how can you bring and portray that solution in a way that demonstrates the value you're bringing?
The third area is to learn and tell the stories around your solution.
The more you can go into a client and say, "You know, that reminds me of a situation, just like yours, that we just had and a situation that came out with a very positive ending, or that created a lot of value for the organization." So, understanding what stories that we have that are very similar or correlate to their situation will help build your own confidence as you're talking about your products and solutions as well as help the customer build their confidence in what you're saying.
The fourth thing I'll mention is to be an expert.
Really study your product, study your solution and your industry, and become that person that's relied on to know the answers. So, you can't be expected to know everything about the solution, but go that extra mile, read the additional details, do the research online, subscribe to those blogs, or download those white papers or other information that you can use to bring additional insights.
And when they're talking to you, you can come from a position of strength and a position of expertise as opposed to having to defend your solution, make up solutions, or not be able to answer a question. So, be an expert, and be curious.
The final piece I'll mention is just don't be desperate.
It's a little difficult if you're trying to close that deal and you may seem a little too eager, a little too responsive, or even desperate to close that opportunity. That erodes our confidence. We're coming from behind in that situation.
The only way to respond to that is to keep your funnel full, to do your prospecting, have more opportunities, and go out there and look at all the different pursuits that you can go after and the different opportunities that are available to you. So that if one goes sideways or starts to delay, you aren't desperate to close that one, you have others that are going to keep your pipeline full and keep you busy.
To conclude, you can tell the client, "Well, that's great. We'll meet when you're ready (but make sure you get a commitment to a next step)." If you pressure them as if you have to close a deal this week, it’s going to make you look desperate and going to undermine your confidence.
If you can keep those things in mind as you're going into a deal—understand their perspective, provide a unique solution, provide that expertise that's going to differentiate you, tell your story, and not be desperate to close the deal—you'll come across as much more confident, gain the confidence of the customer, and be more likely close that deal.
About Ray Makela