As part of a new series of blogs and posts, Team Salestrong will be charting the chronicles of what it takes to be an effective salesperson. This series of posts began with our very popular infographic The Anatomy of A Successful Salesperson and now takes a deeper look into Confidence.
Churchill, Obama, Presley, Hopkins, Thatcher and Steve Jobs. Just a few names that spring to mind when we think of confidence and individuals who have in their careers used this characteristic to great effect.
So why is confidence so important in Sales?
The technically answer is the most obvious. Sales is perhaps the most relationship focused business practice of all, with 11% of all experienced salespeople classed as “charmers” in one way or another. So what about the other 89%? How do you build confidence rather than just having ‘natural charm’ when selling?
Team Salestrong have picked out 3 key elements and some (reasonably) well known people whose approach would make them brilliant salespeople and should be adopted by any aspiring salesperson or leader in order to build confidence.
Technique Builds Confidence – Michelle Obama
Cool, elegant, engaging, funny, sharp. Well rehearsed.
Former First Lady, Michelle Obama (bet you thought we meant Barack above didn’t you?:)) knows her stuff and prepares for each speech or engagement by taking a step back and focusing on breathing and detachment. The former First Lady uses this technique to ensure that her “immediate reaction” as she puts it is not her deciding reaction to a potential question posed or an issue raised.
Confident salespeople must be well prepared as well as possessing natural charisma or charm, knowing when to push and when to pull back in dealing with clients, fielding difficult questions/objections, delivering sales presentations* and negotiating deals.
Belief In Your Service or Product – Steve Jobs
Nobody comes close. From pulling the MacBook Air out of an envelope to standing alone on a stage with the iPhone at its launch, Steve Jobs embodied the most pure form of belief in something you make and sell. Steve Jobs passionately, adamantly, believed in his products and what they could offer to society as a whole.
What is more interesting, is not once did he ever blame his products when something went wrong and that created value with the army of Apple Fans and users that was built from the ground up by the time of his passing.
As a salesperson, it’s crucial you believe in and create a passionate but knowledgable relationship with your product that builds confidence with your client.
Optimism – Whinston Churchill
Whinston Churchill was energetic and doggedly defiant, but most of all optimistic in his outlook and leadership during WWII. Churchill inspired a nation and his troops to trust him that they would together, overcome adversity against all odds. If you think of “V for Victory” you immediately think of Winston Churchill.
As a Sales Manager, your optimism is crucial in the face of difficult trading periods, month-end target scrambles and the ongoing development and energy of your team. Confidence can be contagious and much like Churchill, the best salespeople use optimistic energy to inspire confidence in their teams and their clients.
How well do you think you know and believe in your product or service? Are you optimistic as a sale leader? Team Salestrong would love to hear your stories and feedback.
Next up, we will be taking a look at motivation and focus – we may even throw a few sports personalities in for good measure.
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You may also want to check out our blog on Sales Strengths and Weaknesses which surveyed our delegates on what they would identify as the skills and qualities essential to be a successful salesperson.
*Interested in improving your sales presentations? Read our guide on How To Perfect The Sales Pitch Process