Written by Ari Greenbaum, Co-founder of conXpros
Part 1 of this series focusing on confidence, we introduced the foundations of this important trait. As previously indicated, there are two aspects of confidence; self-confidence and projecting confidence on others. I briefly touched on the positive impact projecting confidence has and will add many tools to this in part 3 of this series. This article will exclusively tackle self-confidence, what it means and how to successfully achieve it.
Self-confidence is often misunderstood and many times salespeople mistake arrogance, cockiness, and ego for confidence. The result of this error is that we move the prospect further from becoming a buyer, as opposed to our goal of bringing them closer to the “yes”. It is a fine line, but when crossed, has catastrophic results. Our goal is to attract the prospect to ourselves through the confidence we display, unfortunately human nature is to steer clear of arrogant, cocky, and egotistical individuals. I am certain that you would agree if given the option of whom you would prefer to be friends or colleagues with, the answer would unanimously be on the side of self-confidence, and not the alternative. Be conscience of yourself and accountable to true self-confidence.
There are many techniques to improve our self-image, but they are all superseded by preparation. One cannot be confident in their knowledge and expertise if they have not already taken the necessary steps to acquire it. To feel confident in one’s knowledge, you must be knowledgeable, thus requiring you to learn your industry, product, and of course closing skills to the point of an expert level. If you desire to become knowledgeable in any subject, there are no excuses, we are living in the information age! When I first entered the Home Improvement lead generation field, I had limited knowledge in the home improvement industry. I did not know anything beyond the basics of how roofers, painters, electricians, etc. spent most of their time with their customers. Similarly, I had zero knowledge of the lead generation industry of which I was now going to be working with professionals and educating them about our service. Like any other individual in my situation, I had a choice; I could either try to get by on my natural sales talent and experience alone, or I could become knowledgeable enough to hold intelligent conversations with the people who would become my prospects and more importantly feel confident in doing so. The choice was clear to me. The confidence I felt in myself allowed me to put my closing skills to work and quickly rise in the ranks to top producer and within a short period of time managing and training all new sales reps for the company.
One can become an expert in the industry and their product or service and feel strong about their ability to help their buyers, but you must also feel confident in your ability to navigate any situation, question, objection, or opportunity that may present itself during the sales process. This level of confidence only comes in one way; learning the skills and psychology of selling. You must be prepared to overcome any objection, handle any concern, or answer any question. It takes practice and dedication to elevate your self-confidence and KNOW that when you enter a conversation with a prospect, you are the one in control. It is this combined knowledge of industry, product and process that allow you to believe the statement “I am the best closer in the world”. This statement is not arrogance, rather belief in your own ability to meet any challenge you may face and win.
There are also various techniques that trigger and enable you to think and feel confident which I suggest engaging in on a daily basis. In fact, these are techniques that should be used before entering into any meeting with a prospective buyer. The first one is simple, providing you have already acquired the belief that you are the best closer in the world. Take a few seconds (that is all it takes) to repeat to yourself, out loud, a statement of affirmation. For example, “I am the best closer in the world! There is no one better than me” which is one I personally love. I am sure you already know, but I advise that you do this prior to being in front of the prospect, or you may be in for some strange responses. I know it seems like a silly activity, but I have found that reminding ourselves of these facts, especially at the time you are having the most anxiety about the upcoming event, has a significant impact in the level of confidence you will approach that meeting with. It is this very confidence that allows you to attract the prospect to you, not just the product or service you are selling.
Another activity I practice and have had tremendous success as a result of, is visualizing what I am about to do. I am not suggesting that you bring your yoga mat and incense with you, although that may sound appealing to some. What I practice is a quick vision of what will happen in this meeting or on this call. I see how I will open, interview or discover the needs of the prospect, present my service with clear focus on how it meets their needs, overcome any objections or concerns, answer any questions, and confidently ask for the order. I know from experience the feeling of self-confidence this practice facilitates. There is a common term in the sales world of “assume the sale”, which many see as an attitude while engaged with the prospect. I differ in my understanding of what this concept is and believe that it is exactly what we just uncovered. The visualizing of the results you are about to have, IS assuming the sale. It means assuming that you will be successful but not because of the actions you take, rather because of the fact you have already “peered” into the future and are certain of the results.
A brief review the key concepts of self-confidence; knowledge of industry, product and process, believing in yourself and your abilities, verbal reminders of that same belief, and lastly visualizing the results before engagement. When you combine these together, you will achieve self-confidence, one of the most powerful tools in successful selling. Start practicing these techniques. The faster you achieve a winning mindset, the faster you reach and exceed your goals. Stay tuned for the conclusion of this 3-part series on confidence where I will provide a path to successfully project confidence and WIN!!!