Written by Ari Greenbaum, Co-founder of conXpros
- The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.
- The state of feeling certain about the truth of something.
- A feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
There is no way to sugar coat it… if you do not have confidence, you will not succeed in sales and should find another career immediately. Throughout the years, I have made this bold declaration to numerous individuals and groups. I have said it to rookies and seasoned veterans alike. Confidence is not optional, it is required.
Before we can start working on developing this critical trait, we must first understand why confidence is so important as well as what confidence really is. There are different forms of confidence we will focus on, all of which are equal in significance. Self-confidence, as defined above as “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities” is the fuel to the feeling of confidence. The key lies in our ability to project confidence outward and influence others with it.
Confidence impacts our results. It serves as the platform for you to receive a “yes” answer from the prospective buyer. When you have personally been faced with making a purchase decision and choosing which product or service is going to meet your needs the best, did you eventually decide to purchase from the less confident of the sales people wanting your business? Of course not, you chose the product or service that you felt best met your needs for a reason. It was not only because it 100% fit with your need, rather the individual or company presenting it to you instilled the confidence that this is exactly what you need. As a result, you were confident in making the investment or purchase. This is especially true when a prospective buyer is faced with decisions about products or services that are similar in performance or what they provide. I recall a recent decision regarding what bank I would open a new business account with. I had already spoken with two banks when I received a solicitation from a third. I intended to compare apples to apples and make the decision on my own based on who I felt was best for my business, however, I found myself in the account enrollment process before I ended the call with the third banker. Was their product superior? Did it function in a way that was perfect for me? The answer to both of those questions remains today as a no, yet I chose to do business with them regardless of these facts. The individual banker I chose gave me the confidence that he and his bank understood and capable of meeting my needs. That confidence led me to make a decision I did not intend to make prior to that conversation. We have many ways to influence how people feel, but when we instill confidence in them, it provides the platform for a “yes”.
As people, we are attracted to confident people. Yes, my wife is physically beautiful and attractive, but it was and still is her confidence that I am most drawn to. In sales as well as life, we want the people we encounter to be attracted to us. Who have you been drawn to in life or business? The guy or gal with their head down, and speaking in non-confident speech? Or, were you drawn like a magnet to the person with their head held high, speaking words that are positive and confident? If you were a fly on the wall in a locker room of an NFL team during their pregame meeting, who would you put your money on to win? The team coached by someone lacking confidence in their game plan and motivation to their team to execute it? Or the coach that demonstrates for his players that he is confident and enthusiastic about their impending victory? These seem like obvious questions, and you are right they are. But it is important to understand the impact we have on others and especially a prospect when we exude confidence and therefore impart the same feeling in them.
Confidence breeds success, not the other way around as many would prefer to believe. It is because you are confident BEFORE having any success that allows you to achieve that very thing you desire. Confidence is a thought, feeling, and action of all successful sales professionals. The more confidence we have and express, the more people want to do business with us and are attracted to us. The beauty of confidence, is that it is a choice. We choose to feel confident and we choose to be confident.
This is the first part of a series of 3 articles focused on the incredibly important trait of confidence. Stay tuned for the next installment….