Fear, more than any other factor, causes sales professionals to fail. New salespeople are constantly placed in uncomfortable situations — and these people are uncomfortable because they’re fearful of the outcome.
What would make new salespeople more comfortable? Let’s look at five areas where we can build confidence by using specific areas of knowledge.
First stage: Knowledge of self
Many people are inclined to think about things they’ve done wrong in the past. All that does is cause them to dwell on negativity. When you focus on negative past actions, you generate negative future actions.
One of the best things under-performing salespeople can do is understand that what they’ve done successfully in the past prepares them for success in the future. Get to know your successful side. Focusing on the “positives” gives you the best opportunity to repeat those actions in the future. We do what we think about the most.
Second stage: Knowledge of the company
To be a truly successful salesperson, you must have superior knowledge of the company you represent — more than just its name or the product it makes. You also need to know how to get a deal done within the company in the fastest amount of time.
Truly great salespeople not only get deals done, they seem to know most everyone in the company. And they befriend people who can help them out in a crunch.
Knowledge like this immediately reduces your level of fear. Your confidence expands to the people you call on and has a positive effect on each client you encounter.
Third stage: Knowledge of the product
You’ll never succeed in sales with inadequate knowledge of your product. Your confidence is so closely tied to this knowledge that it affects every sales effort you contemplate.
Confidence in sales comes from believing that your product or service will help the client. Not knowing the product simply means you know don’t if you can help the client.
Become an expert at one product and watch your confidence soar. Move on to learn product #2. You’ll notice two things:
- You can learn product #2 easier because of your understanding of product #1.
- You’ll sell more efficiently because your self-esteem is at an all-time high.
We sell in accordance with how we feel about ourselves. If you feel good about yourself, you won’t accept a client saying no to you.
Fourth stage: Knowledge of the customer
Knowledge is king. The salesperson who collects the most information in a selling situation will always win.
Sharing information causes the customer to feel so comfortable with you that they will buy from you. Why? Because you, rather than the competition, have taken the time to fully understand their concerns. They see you as a person who’s on the same side of the desk they are.
Fifth stage: Knowledge of the future
The highest-motivating factor for a sales rep is deciding on a mission for the future. Sales reps who continually look at where they want to be erase the fear of where they currently are.
Most sales managers agree that the greatest barrier salespeople encounter is fear. When you work repeatedly on an area of discomfort, you naturally become more confident with the object of your repetition. The by-product of that hard work is less fear.
The greatest jump in sales success comes from confidence first!
Vistage speaker Greg Winston is president/CEO of Sales2Sales, a sales training firm based in Monarch Beach, Calif.