The Confidence Game

The list of factors it takes to succeed in sales is long. It is even more difficult to build or improve your effectiveness in all of the attributes. Each attribute is an enabler of other attributes, and they are cumulative; they build on each other. The whole is much more than the individual parts.

There are two reasons to work on developing these attributes. First, they are necessary in order to succeed in sales, including effectively completing the individual tasks that make up a deal. Second, they are the component parts that make up confidence.

Why Confidence?

Confidence is a critical success factor. For your dream client to have confidence in you, you first have to have confidence in yourself. In order for your dream client to believe that you are the right choice for them, you have to believe that you are the right choice for them.

Confidence is the attribute that enables you to pick up the phone and call the C-level executive (or someone else), knowing that your business acumen and your experience will allow you help them create a better outcome. Your confidence tells them that you are someone who can create value and that you are worth their time an attention.

Confidence is what allows you differentiate yourself and your offering from your competitors. It arms you with the ability to respond well under pressure, knowing that you are prepared to define yourself by describing the unique ways you help your clients.

Confidence is the success attribute that allows you to tell a compelling story. Your confidence is what makes the story believable, in part because you are the story. Confidence is what allows you to negotiate in good faith, acting transparently, knowing that your leadership here can create a win-win agreement.

And confidence is what allows you to promise to deliver, and then to keep that promise, managing the outcomes that you have sold.

Without Confidence

Without confidence, you will never pick up the phone and call the C-level executive you need to move the deal. And you won’t be compelling to the stakeholders that work for her. Because you lack confidence, your dream clients won’t buy you or your product or service. Because you don’t believe, they don’t believe.

A lack of confidence makes differentiating yourself and your offering impossibly difficult; it is confidence that allows you to believe you are different and that those differences make the difference.

Without confidence, you can’t tell the compelling story. You can’t negotiate a win-win deal because you either refuse to be transparent, or you believe you have to accept the terms that offered you or lose the deal. And you will never feel strongly enough about yourself to effectively sell and manage the outcomes your dream clients need.

Conclusion

The attributes that make up success in any endeavor are many and complex. The list for salespeople includes confidence, which is a prerequisite to believing enough in yourself to help others believe in you.

Questions

  1. How does confidence help enable success in sales?

  2. Does your client buy you before they buy your product or service?

  3. How does your self-confidence make your dream client more confident in you?

  4. If you aren’t confident in yourself, which of the foundational success or sales attributes would need to be developed to make you more confident?


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