Sales confidence is key if you want to hit your quota. But what is sales confidence? And how can you build it, so you’re more effective with customers?
Confidence in sales is the belief in your ability to sell. It’s about having the skills and knowledge to do your job. However, it’s also about sales mirroring your customer, anticipating their needs, and handling objections effectively.
Effective salespeople anticipate and handle objections before they even come up. They know their product inside and out and are confident in their ability to sell it. This comes from practicing the pitch, researching the competition, and knowing your audience.
When you’re well-prepared and confident in your abilities, it shows. Customers can sense it, and they’ll be more likely to trust and do business with you.
If you need more sales confidence, start by understanding what is the essence of trust for a salesperson. Then, work on how to be confident with customers and hone your skills. You’ll be hitting your quota with the right mindset and skill set.
Sales Confidence Definition
Trust is the foundation of all good relationships, particularly in sales. If customers don’t trust you, they’re not going to do meaningful business with you – it’s that simple.
The dictionary defines trust as “the belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.”. For customers to trust you, they need to believe that you’re empathetic, competent and convenient.
In a selling role, it’s your job to build trust with potential buyers, so they feel confident doing business with you. That means being transparent about what you’re selling. You should also be knowledgeable about your products or services, always putting the customer first.
When you do these things, you’ll be well on your way to earning your customers’ trust – and smashing your sales goals.
How Do You Build Confidence in Sales?
Confidence sells, so sell with confidence. Without confidence, you’re just another salesperson.
But how do you build confidence in business? Team confidence? Confidence in customer service?
The answer is simple: by providing value.
And what is value? Value is addressing a persons 3 underlying felt needs. Value is satiating a buyers pain and pleasure points. Value is delivering empathetic, competent convenience. Value is exceeding the expectation of ROI by delivering not just a justifiable price, but a return on their investment of time and energy.
When you provide value to your customers, they put their trust in you. And when they trust you, they’re more likely to do business with you.
It’s not always easy to articulate value, but it’s the only way to build confidence in sales. If you’re not sure how to add value, here are three effective tips for building your confidence in sales:
1. Read Books
- The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude: How to Find, Build and Keep a YES! Attitude for a Lifetime of Success by Jeffrey Gitomer – This book is about assuming a positive outcome in every situation.
- Start with No: The Negotiating Tools That the Pros Don’t Want You to Know by Jim Camp – This book is about how to get to yes faster by addressing the 800 lb gorilla in the room – No! As Chris Voss states, “a negotiation only starts when a buyer says no”.
- Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It by Chris Voss – This book is about the art and science of negotiation. It’s full of valuable tips to help you get what you want in a sales situation.
- Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Robert Cialdini, et al. – This book provides a ton of proven strategies for getting to yes.
2. Run Lines
Objection Handling is what you do when you receive an objection from a prospective customer. When you spend time running lines, you can quickly and confidently handle any objection that’s thrown at you.
Our client’s are taught about Closing ARCs as a way to effectively handle objections. Sellers should have hundreds of Closing ARCs primed and ready to go at a moment’s notice. The reality is, nearly 100% of sellers have no more than three ways to handle an objection. The problem lies in the fact that most buyers have up to 6 different objections that the seller first has to figure out, then handle satisfactorily.
3. Communication Tools
You can also use communication tools to build sales confidence.
An online training program helps salespeople learn how to communicate confidently. An excellent example of this is poised.com – Confidence, Energy, Clarity. The program includes modules from vocal confidence and presence to messaging and handling objections. It’s an excellent resource for anyone looking to build their sales confidence.
In Dale Carnegie’s High-Impact Presentations course, students are recorded and analysed to help them recognize how they can improve their body language, tonality, and inflection to increase their appearance of confidence.
How Confidence Works in Sales
Trust is essential in any sales transaction because it helps protect the relationship. Prospective customers will trust salespersons who are competent. Competence manifests confidence. And confidence exudes trustworthiness. People are more likely to listen to what you have to say and take your recommendations seriously.
These days, people are bombarded with so many messages that it is hard to stand out in a Sea of Sameness. However, when you are confident in what you’re selling, you will be more likely to close the deal.
Showing Confidence in a Sales Call
Has the trill of your stomach escaped your mouth as a nervous giggle? Your knees weak? Throw up on your sweater? Mom’s spaghetti?
You know you should know how to make the sales, but you’re not sure you can do it. What if they reject what you have to say? Or have a litany of excuse, stalls, objections you cannot overcome?
The first step to confidence is understanding that everyone experiences how you feel at first. It’s normal to feel nervous and have doubts.
There are a few things you can do to help build your confidence in sales:
The best way to show confidence is to be prepared. Before the call, take some time to do your research. Know who you’re going to be speaking with and what their needs are. Understand the product or service you’re selling inside and out. The more prepared you are, the easier it will be to sound confident.
Listen To Understand
Another way to show confidence is to listen carefully to what the prospect is saying, and then repeat it back to them as close to verbatim as possible. This shows that you’re interested in getting their needs right. It also allows you to ensure alignment to be sure you can come up with the best overall solution. Based on their pain and pleasure points, meeting their underlying felt needs.
Be True to Yourself
It’s really critical that you stay true to your values and beliefs. It won’t be easy to sound confident if you’re not comfortable with what you’re selling. This goes far beyond the product itself, too. You need to believe that you are representing a brand that has the customer’s best interests at heart.
Building sales confidence takes time and experience. If you suffer from imposters syndrome, the more you do it, the easier it will become! Just remember, if you think you are an imposter, you are almost certainly not. The real imposters in this world are convinced they are not imposters.
I am not a Robot
I have heard so many sales trainers say they don’t like or recommend scripts. The problem with this is that they train a person for a day, and then leave. They never see you get past the awkward stage of new lines. Given enough practice, running lines is the ONLY WAY to sound more confident. After awhile, you not only get great at delivering the lines, but you can tweak your body language, timing, tonality, and inflection.
Think about it. All of the best speeches you’ve every heard, your favorite songs, blockbuster movies, and graceful live theatre all rely on expert delivery of lines.
When you have the ability to curate the best way to say certain things, you are certain to deliver a more persuasive message. The better you deliver your lines, the more confident you appear and feel.
Nobody Cares to Look Under the Hood
When speaking to prospects, it’s respectful to be concise. No one wants to listen to a sales pitch for hours, so ensure you’re getting straight to the points a person actually cares about.
Rookies often see fleeting success as the learn more about their products and services. This is known as the curse of knowledge. What’s important to know is that nobody actually cares. Occasionally you get a Birkenstock Professor wanting to geek out with you, or an unconfident buyer searching for relevant value. More often than not, however, people just want to know that your thing solves their problem.
Understand Who to Ask
If you’re ever feeling lost or unsure of what to do next, ask for help. Talk to your manager, your sales coach, or even a coworker. Most certainly someone has been in the same situation and can offer guidance on what to do next.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re unsure about something, it’s better to ask and get clarification than to make an assumption that could cost your reputation.
Confidence is king in sales. You have permission to believe in yourself, even when you’re just starting out. Take the time to develop your competence to build your confidence, and you’ll surely see an improvement in your sales numbers.