Vail Valley: Confidence is the secret to sales success
August 11, 2010
In a recent column I shared insights and tips about “Speaking Up with Confidence.” As a follow-up to that, and based on e-mails and feedback from readers in the Vail Valley and elsewhere, here are some thoughts on selling with confidence.
It doesn’t matter if we are talking about our current economy or more robust and healthy times, everyone is always looking for the secret to sales success. The question is always this – how do we generate more business and win more opportunities?
There are many strategies, tactics, and skills that can be learned in the classroom, through observation of other successful sales folks, and on the Internet. Check out http://www.candogo.com and you will find thousands of helpful sales tips.
But what is the real secret to sales success? The answer is the 3 C’s – confidence, confidence, and confidence. We need confidence in ourself, confidence in our product or service, and confidence in our company that it will stand behind us and our product or service. If we have these three levels of confidence we can go toe-to-toe with any competitor, any prospect or any customer.
Some may argue that there are more secrets to sales success, and that skills, activities, integrity, attitude, and work ethic play important roles in achieving our desired results. I agree, and these are all important factors towards meeting and exceeding sales quotas. However, I am suggesting that as we develop and strengthen skills, engage in the necessary activities and follow up, operate with integrity, stay motivated with a positive can-do attitude, and put forth the necessary effort each and every day, we are in essence developing and furthering our confidence in all three areas: self, product, and company.
Many professional sales people never intended to have a career in sales. We went to school to become teachers, nurses, engineers, marketing professionals, or anything else. Now we find ourselves having to stand up in front of prospects and customers, groups of people, peers, and present our solutions. And consistent with the fear of public speaking, we get nervous and anxious and wind up speaking fast and talking past the sale or opportunity. If our sales manager is watching or listening, the fear is multiplied by 10.
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So what do we do?
First, take the time to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. Developing self-confidence starts by being proactive instead of reactive. Identify what we need to work on the most and that will give us the greatest satisfaction if it were achieved. And it doesn’t mean we have to hit that goal in order to have that self confidence – the power we will feel by just knowing we are committed and working on it will tremendously elevate that self confidence and healthy self image.
Then take the time to study your product. Get to know it better than anyone else on the team or in the store. Learn from your customers and ask questions of prospects as to what they need and what they are looking for. Even if you don’t know the answer, commit to your customer that you will find the answer. And as you search for the best response, you learn along the way.
Finally, developing confidence in your company means we are all operating from the same mission, vision, values, and culture. As owners, executives, and managers we need to provide our team with our commitment to excellence, demonstrating our integrity, loyalty, character, and integrity. And as sales representatives we need to engage and involve leadership as often as possible with customers, holding them accountable to the very same mission, vision, values, and culture.
Sell with the 3 C’s, confidence, confidence, and confidence, and you will have found the secret to sales success. Whether you agree or disagree I would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org and make it a better than good sales week.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of http://www.candogo.com. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.