I hear a lot of advice a long the lines of “just be confident!” from sales coaches. But I think most salespeople know that confidence is important in sales. The question is – how do you gain confidence? And if you’re not confident, does that mean you don’t belong in sales?
I think it’s a myth that great salespeople are always confident. I think they may know how to get themselves into a state of confidence, or they have the courage to persevere even when they don’t feel confident and trust that the confidence will come.
Sometimes, let’s face it, you’re having a bad day, you had a fight with your spouse, you lost a deal. Sometimes, you simply can’t think your way into greater confidence. For those times, I want to share with you a really practical technique I learned as an actor.
It’s called Acting as if. And it works like this. Next time you’re feeling really confident, notice what that looks like and sounds like for you. Maybe you stand taller, gesture more, speak louder, or hold eye contact longer.
Then when you have to get on that call or give a presentation when you’re not feeling 100% confident, apply these confident behaviors as you’re practicing. Push through even when it feels awkward and uncomfortable and maintain those confident behaviors in your meeting. In other words, act as if you have great confidence. 9 times out of 10 you’ll find that pretty quickly you are actually feeling confident and good. It’s much like forcing yourself to smile can make you feel happier.
So go out there and show confidence, and if you can’t, act as if until the real deal kicks in.
Many presenters share the actor’s nightmare of being in front of an audience and not knowing their lines. I lived that nightmare early in my sales career. A Presenter’s nightmare As a new salesperson I was excited when I received a last-minute opportunity to present to an important prospect. Although I didn’t know the product well or have much preparation time, I felt confident. After all, everything I needed was on my slides! I arrived at the prospect’s office, introduced myself, clicked on my PowerPoint and…nothing happened. I clicked, rebooted, prayed. Still nothing. Soon my audience was chiming in with suggestions, all to no avail. (Now mind you, this was before flash drives and the ability to email large files easily.) I decided to forge ahead – sans-slides – since I knew it would be difficult to get this same group of people together any time soon. I wish I Read More
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I love snack size foods. They’re cute, they’re portable, and they create the illusion that I’m eating lighter. I say “illusion,” because I usually end up eating more than the equivalent of a full-size portion – especially if it’s a candy bar! Snack size foods have exploded in the last five years for those very same reasons. Smaller packaging gives customers a relatively low-risk way to sample a product — without making a full investment in money, time or calories. In a selling environment where customers show an ever-increasing reluctance to invest their time and energy to sitting through – or sifting through – long presentations or product demos, it’s time to think about going snack-size as well. Customer’s Love Affair with Snack Size Content The majority of people consume content today in snack size portions. We get our news and entertainment on demand, read or watch only so long Read More
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