Many sales are lost because a prospective customer doesn’t have confidence in you.
If you were to set yourself a goal to run a marathon, you wouldn’t expect to be successful without embarking on a substantial training schedule to build your fitness levels. Chances are, this would take months and months of training.
Have a positive attitude towards selling
Like running a marathon, building your self-confidence levels in selling takes time and commitment and that starts with your attitude. You must want to succeed in selling your products or services. If you believe you will succeed selling your products or services, you are right. You will succeed! If you believe you won’t succeed in selling your products or services, you are also right. You won’t succeed! It’s known as the law of expectation.
Work on training yourself to have a positive attitude towards selling and you will inevitably come away with better results.
Learn basic selling skills
To become more confident in growing your sales, you also need to learn basic selling skills.
As Michael Gerber talks about in his book “The E-Myth Revisited”, most people who start a small business are technicians. They are very good at what they do ‘technically’. A hairdresser starts a beauty salon. A Plumber becomes a contractor. A business executive becomes a consultant. An accountant or lawyer sets up their own practice. The problem is, they are technical specialists (and very good at it) but do they know how to sell their products or services? Chances are they don’t. Therefore they have no confidence in being able to sell.
Imagine you were building a house, would you employ someone who is not qualified? Of course not, it would be a risky decision. You want to have trust and confidence that they are the right person for you and that their work is guaranteed. You want to be assured that house will be built on a strong foundation.
It’s not a lot different in sales. Your prospective customers want to feel confident and reassured that not only are you qualified, that you will live up to your promises if they buy from you.
Don’t look to be a salesperson – help people buy instead!
When many people in business hear the word salesperson, they immediately think of a sleazy car salesman and they don’t want to be thought of like that so they steer away from anything to do with selling. Alternately, they feel they are no good at talking to people so shy away from networking or prospecting activities out of fear of being labelled a “salesperson”.
Let’s turn that on its head.
What’s wrong with being proud to sell your products or services?
- What a buzz a hairdresser gets from seeing their clients walk out the door with a fabulous new hairstyle. Haven’t they made their customer feel good about themselves?
- What about the plumber who unblocks a toilet in the middle of the night to stop an overflow. Haven’t they helped someone in dire need from causing damage to their home?
- What about the business consultant who was able to add value to a small business owner and improve their bottom line profits or the accountant who saved his clients lots of money in taxes and the lawyer who helped a family in crises.
In each of these examples, they helped people. So if your products or services genuinely help others why wouldn’t you be proud to sell your products and services? So to help you overcome a fear of selling, think of selling as helping people buy instead.
Fake it till you become it
In her famous Ted Talk, Amy Cuddy talks about how your body language shapes who you are. She’s a social psychologist who talks about faking it till you become it using a technique called power posing. When you stand in a posture of confidence, even though you might not feel very confident, this reduces the stress hormone cortisol levels in your body. As a result, you feel more confident.
Before meeting with a prospect why not take Amy Cuddy’s advice and stand in a power pose for two minutes to increase your confidence levels. It completely changes the physiology of your body and instantly gives you more confidence.
Invest in professional development
This is captain obvious yet so many people who have to sell their products or services themselves do so without investing in their personal and professional development first. Selling is a skill set that can be learned. You learn how to play tennis. You learn how to play golf. Yes, you can play the game without taking lessons but then look at the results.
In business you learn the technical skills to provide a product or service. Then why do people expect to have confidence in selling their products or services without first learning the tools of the trade. When you learn to match buying behavior with a selling process like the Bi-Sell-Cycle™ you become instantly more confident at selling your products or services. You become more effective because you do the right things more often.
Improve your communication skills
In order to sell anything to anyone, you first have to get into rapport with a prospect because people won’t buy from people they do not like or trust. Unless you have the ability to build and maintain rapport when you meet a prospective customer, no matter what you say or do after that will mean nothing. If they don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you.
You also have to learn the art of effective questioning. You can’t help someone buy from you if you don’t know what their problems or opportunities are, commonly known as buyer needs. Without a prospect having a need, you have nothing to sell.
Coupled with effective questioning techniques, you also need to know how to actively listen to your prospect. Active listening means to listen for understanding not hearing the words a prospect says. Active listening not only helps you uncover their needs, it helps to maintain rapport. As a result a prospect will trust and have confidence that you are the right person to buy from.
On a final note
When you adopt a positive attitude towards selling and invest in learning how to sell, you will be able to sell your products or services with confidence.
In A Nutshell
To get people to buy from you, you need to:
- Develop a positive attitude towards selling your products and services
- Be proud to sell your products and services
- Don’t look to sell – look to help people buy instead
- Learn the art of power posing so that you can fake it till you become it
- Establish trust by building rapport first
- Develop effective questioning skills
- Learn to actively listen to your prospects so you can help them buy from you