In order to be successful in a sales career you must sound confident. This is easier said than done when you are new to the company, new to the sales role, or you have new products and / or services to sell.
To sound confident, you must FEEL confident - and quickly ramp up on an understanding of new products and services your company has begun offering. If you are new to a sales role, you need the confidence to not sound too new, and if you switch to a sales role from another position within the company there is still a time of discomfort when you want more confidence than you may be feeling.
Why? Some of if seems to be self-imposed, and it also comes from the fact that people want to work with knowledgeable professionals. Executive Assistants want to refer on only those who are subject matter experts and those who can add value to their boss.
Here's the rub: You may be an extremely confident person. You personally feel confident - after all, you just got hired to work at the company in a sales role, right? It's your new products and services or new role that you don't have full confidence in - so you must develop that. There is no time to waste in feeling more confident - it includes:
- How you sound on the phone in general when you talk to potential buyers
- How you handle random questions that come up when you DO engage with buyers
- How often you make contact with potential buyers and how well you follow-up
- How you are able to bring up ideas and insight to help your buyer in their position
Fake it till You Make It?
Buyers have an uncanny way of knowing when a seller is not comfortable or not confident with what they are talking about - it is difficult to fake an executive conversation with insight about your buyer and how your service or product offering may be of great value to them. This conversation requires you to do your homework.
Here are some ways to create a foundation that gives you a real sense of understanding (and therefore more confidence) when dealing with the buyers in your world:
Have a great on-boarding process at your company. If the company does not provide this, make it happen yourself. I have worked at companies with NO program for new reps - sometimes I was the first sales rep and had to create my own path. Here's what I did:
Find everything you can about the products and services you will be selling
Understand more than anything else who your buyers are - where your company and its solution can add the most value.
Learn how you can best solve their issues or add to their desired state
Practice and practice some more - until your conversation can flow
Determine all the common objections and how you will respond
Choose a couple of people to allow you to role play with them. I know, you don't like role play, but it is the next best thing to the real conversation. Do it until you feel very comfortable.
Comfort leads to confidence. Suddenly you have had numerous conversations. You have created a level of "feeling OK" about all the potential things that might come up - which often don't, by the way. But now you are ready.
Will you screw up? Yes. Will you answer questions poorly at first? Probably - but you can't perfect anything without trying. The biggest issue is to get on the phones - get connecting via e-mail. Set up webinars and demos - goof up and then realize how to make them better.
Within a short time, your confidence will find you.
How long did it take you to build up confidence at your current sales position? The first five responses win a Starbucks card - through the end of June. Let us know! It will help others.
Lori Richardson is recognized on Forbes as one of the "Top 30 Social Sales Influencers" worldwide. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside sales teams in mid-sized companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the "Sales Ideas In A Minute" newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.