If a salesperson cannot instill confidence, they cannot make a sale; they cannot create a customer. Without confidence, there is no success. To succeed, you must expect to succeed, every time, all the time. Rain or shine, good hair days or bad hair days. Confidence is that external feeling we have that can be felt by those around us. If we are not confident, they instinctively know. You can’t fake it.
Confidence is an automatic response to the problems and circumstances of life. That doesn’t mean it can’t be learned. In fact, true confidence can only be learned. Those who seem to be confident without having the support of knowledge and experience are either arrogant or ignorant. They will be able to get only as far as their customers let them.
From that experience, believe you will be able to overcome any problem and thus circumvent failure. Success, then, only comes from failure. When you have failed and learned to overcome and prevent that failure in the future, you will become confident. When you are confident, you will be successful.
If you want to be successful, get started immediately and don’t worry about failing. If you do fail, analyze your failure, develop systems and procedures to prevent or overcome those situations in the future, and confidently sell, sell, sell. Sometimes this process is called paying your dues. In addition to experiencing failure (the unintentional acquisition of knowledge), paying your dues includes the intentional acquisition of knowledge: learning your product, knowing your competition, knowing your customer, and searching for new business opportunities.
In our minds we cannot visualize ourselves winning. We are afraid we will not be successful. We say and/or believe things such as: “I’m not one of the chosen people. I can’t charm them, I don’t have a great personality, and I’m not even attractive enough. I’ll never enjoy the commissions, long lunches, working from home, having expensive clothes, cars, etc. I’m just ordinary Bob. Nothing goes right for me. I’ll never get this large sale. My competition is too great. Woe is me.”
This mentality will take you down faster than a large cement block attached to your ankle as you enter a body of water. Either play to win or don’t play at all. Never sabotage yourself with negative thoughts. Don’t be afraid of anything except of being afraid.
One of the most often ignored step in any process, and sales is no exception, is the review, or recap. While it might seem to be optional and nonessential, done correctly the review can generate more sales, revenue, efficiency, and effectiveness in the future. And review costs nothing but a little bit of your time. It’s my experience that this is time extremely well spent.
After the sales process is complete, after you have celebrated, after you have spent your money or invested it, take a few minutes to interview your sales team to determine what was successful and what worked when selling this client. Once you know all the things you want to do more of, talk about what didn’t work as well as you had hoped. These are things you want to do less of and/or modify before you do them again. The review process can uncover valuable information about selling future clients. Additionally, your organization can recognize what types of sales support works in assisting you with the sales process and what does not. Your company may, for example, determine that new skill development is necessary for the entire sales team. They may even want to change their processes and/or add new support personnel.
Being proactive requires the creation of an action plan designed to reach and exceed your quota. Being successful requires that this action plan be put into place immediately, not the second week of your employment. You should place yourself on a performance plan from the get-go lest complacency sets in and company management places you on a plan of their own making. When that occurs, it’s never good news for you, usually meaning you only have a short time, normally between thirty and ninety days, to hit some hefty numbers or be given a pink slip. The real outcome of most performance plans is that you will have that short amount of time to find a new job. If you put yourself on a plan from day one you will have the professional pride of knowing that you will succeed.