When was the last time you agreed to buy something from a timid salesperson who stumbled over their words and couldn’t even look you in the eye? There’s no need to answer that — the second we suspect that the person is trying to sell us something they don’t believe in, we quickly disqualify them and move on to the next vendor.
Being confident is essential for a successful sales process, but it’s easier said than done. Fortunately, if you have a good attitude and adopt the right strategies, going from a meek to a self-assured salesperson is possible. Here are five methods to help you get there.
1. Develop a growth mindset
Before we go any further, it’s time to clear something up. When we say that you should be a “confident” salesperson, we don’t mean it’s time to pump up your chest and pressure every potential client to purchase.
True confidence isn’t being as aggressive and pushy as possible — it’s truly believing in yourself and what you’re offering. This means looking inwards. If you genuinely think you’re great at what you do, that confidence will shine through to the customer. And voila, confidence.
There are hundreds of different methods you can use to reach that point, but one to consider is the growth mindset approach. Popularized by Carol Dweck’s book “Mindset,” having a growth mindset over a fixed mindset is all about believing that our abilities aren’t set in stone or determined from birth. Instead, we can hone them over time by learning from our mistakes and changing how we do things.
Think “my sales skills need some work, but with practice, I can become a great salesperson” rather than “I’m not a naturally gifted salesperson so I should just give up now.”
Once you internalize the idea that you can become good at anything with enough practice, the idea of failing to win a customer over or going through a sales disaster will no longer faze you (at least, not to the same extent). Without that paralyzing fear in the back of your mind, you’ll take more risks and feel more relaxed — helping you to hone your skills and improve.
2. Know what you’re selling inside out
Of course, there’s more to confident selling than simply believing in yourself. The other piece of the “internal confidence” puzzle is to understand exactly what you’re selling and the value it provides.
If you’re a software sales professional, you’re selling software to personas who you believe could benefit from it. But whereas a mediocre salesperson focuses on the features and benefits the prospect would love, a master salesperson focuses on providing value with a solution to problem that is deeply affecting their business and results.
What does this have to do with confidence, you might ask? Everything!
A lack of confidence in the sales process often results from not understanding your product well enough to know how to communicate its true value. Or perhaps they don’t fully believe in the value it provides- which is the biggest problem.
We don’t mean that you should brainwash yourself into thinking that whatever you’re selling is infallible and the best product ever created. But we do advocate understanding your value proposition inside-out and figuring out how it will help the people who buy it.
3. Be passionate
Once you believe in yourself and you believe in what you’re selling, becoming passionate about what you do should be the natural next step. It’s ten times more appealing to buy from an energetic salesperson who is bursting with passion for what they’re selling than someone who looks like they’d rather be elsewhere.
Passion often translates to confidence, but the great thing is that most people see it as far more achievable.
So, if you feel like you can’t possibly become more confident, try to become more passionate instead. You might be surprised at how far it takes you!
4. Work on your body language You might have heard it said that 93% of communication is nonverbal. While there’s dispute over whether this is true or an urban myth, it can’t be denied that body language plays a vital role in demonstrating confidence.
The next time you go through the sales process, pay attention to your posture and what you’re doing with your hands. Are you standing tall or slouching? Making confident gestures or twiddling your thumbs?
If you can stomach it, film yourself. You might not like what you see the first time around, but making moderate improvements each time will gradually improve how confident you appear.
5. Put yourself through a simulation
Yes, you read that right — putting yourself through a simulation can be the perfect way to increase confidence. And no, you didn’t just teleport to the year 2100. While technology isn’t yet quite advanced enough to send you into the kind of virtual reality shown in sci-fi movies, there are some advancements that may help you. FRONTLINE uses simulation to train our team the same way pilots train. This helps them perfect the sales process before ever speaking to a live prospect.
Sophisticated desktop software takes salespeople through various sales scenarios — from the benign to the most challenging — so they can fine-tune their skills and confidence. They’ll also receive analytics, scores, and feedback relevant to their performance.
Practice makes perfect
Confidence comes from many places, but the fastest way to grow it is preparation. Understand your products/services, ask a lot of questions so you understand your prospect’s true challenges, and continue learning how to communicate your value in every conversation.
“An amateur practices until he can do a thing right, a professional until he can’t do it wrong.”
In other words…get practicing now!
To learn more about our simulator and how it can help you and your team skyrocket your confidence, contact FRONTLINE Selling today.