Sales is not always the easiest job in the world—particularly if your organization has not always had the strongest sales culture. I’m sure if you did a Google search for books or resources on ways to improve sales skills, you would get no less than a million results. Trust me, I checked. The exact number is 178 million! And, while there may be valuable information included in many of those 178 million pieces of content, one thing to keep in mind is that in order to be successful in sales, you have to possess something that comes from within—confidence.
To convince someone to buy whatever it is you're selling, you must exude self-assurance and authority. While you likely have several tools to help you in the sales process—brochures, your sales pitch, a list of qualified leads, your elevator speech, and business cards, etc.—confidence is the one tool you can't get from the office supply store or your marketing department.
If you've ever watched the sitcom, Three's Company, Jack's best friend, Larry, led a pretty comfortable life as a used car salesman. He didn't even need two roommates to afford his rent like Jack did. Okay, so he wasn't the most upstanding citizen in Santa Monica. In fact, he probably sold a lot of 'lemons' to unsuspecting car buyers. But, what was his secret to “success?” How did he coax people into buying what was more than likely a disaster waiting to happen? It's simple, he had confidence. That's all he needed, and he could sell practically anything.
If you're lacking confidence in the sales department, there are some things you can do to develop it. Here are my tips on building your confidence so you can sell, sell, sell!
1. BElieve in yourself:
If the managers and leaders of your institution didn’t believe that you were talented and capable, they would not have put you in such a vital role. Believe in your potential for success just as much as they do. And remember, some prospects are going to tell you “No,” but that doesn’t mean you aren’t a great sales person.
2. BElieve in your product:
If you don't believe in your product or service, no one else will. Remember, you're selling something that you and your organization believe has value; otherwise, you wouldn't be offering it to your valued customers. If you believe in your product, and communicate that—both verbally and non-verbally—to your prospects, they will believe in it, too.
3. BElieve in your product’s price:
There is a perceived value tied to everything, and much of that is based on price. The leaders of your organization arrived at the price of each of your products and services, and if you believe in it, so will your prospects and customers. State your product’s price confidently. Demonstrate that it's what you feel your product or service is worth, and that's exactly what you should sell it for.
4. BE an effective communicator:
Strong communication skills will help you connect with your potential customer and make you feel more comfortable and confident. Keep it simple, and be aware that sometimes less is more. In other words, be succinct and avoid sounding like an infomercial or using industry jargon. Too much information can be overkill and sound too complicated to understand. How will your customer benefit from purchasing your product? Will they save time, money, or gain peace of mind? Make sure they know those things. Speak in a friendly voice and tone, make eye contact, and most importantly, listen. And, don't be afraid to ask questions to maintain a productive interaction.
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5. BE optimistic of a successful outcome:
Have a positive approach to selling. If you can't visualize the finish line, then you're not prepared to start the race. Feel certain that you will have a successful exchange with the prospect. Remember, you're planting seeds. You may not see results right away, but if you keep promoting yourself with a winning attitude, eventually you'll start to see the returns.
BE a product expert:
The more you know about your product/services, the better and more accurately you’ll be able to convey the benefits and features to your prospect. And, knowing your products/services thoroughly will give you more confidence when you’re selling to your prospects, and make you feel more comfortable and confident when you are asked questions.
Developing confidence is not an overnight process. The more you use practice these tips, the sales process will become easier and more natural.
Images from giphy.com.