Sales starts in your head - those inner voices, stories and conversations that determine what you will project to the customer. In the game of sales, confidence sells.
Where do you get your confidence from?
Did you know that confidence is one of the fastest transferred human emotions?
Is it from your product knowledge, knowledge of your customer, your experience in the field, your qualifications? You will project what you inner most believe and, therefore if you want success in sales, you need to ensure your confidence is based on a solid foundation.
People research logically and purchase emotionally - do you tap into people's emotive buying reasons before attempting to foist your product or service upon them?
Remember, no one buys your product or service - they buy what your product and/or service will do for them! When I started work, I was a trainee production manager in a steel factory. By the time I was on the frontline with customers, I knew everything about my products and was incredibly confident. As young as I was, I managed to hold my own: once even having a somewhat heated discussion with a leading architect over the impracticality of his design and was able to ‘sell’ him on a waterproof alternative that gave the same aesthetic effect while being far more practical.
Then I emigrated to NZ and joined a kitchen company. I knew nothing and it showed. It was like I had left my confidence in Zimbabwe. Have you ever lost confidence in yourself, your process or your product?
“Self observation and self reflection leads to self improvement” is a truism that has served me well. Put another way, self observation and awareness leads to self analysis and self reflection, which in turn opens the doors of self improvement.
Three steps helped me understand what had happened:
Observe what is happening - be honest with yourself and aware of your perceptions.
Reflect and Analyse why you might be feeling that way and why things have turned out the way they have.
Overcome it - Strategise, Think and Plan. Mastery of anything takes consistent effort.
What I realised was that my confidence was based in my product knowledge and, therefore, any knock on product knowledge could bring me tumbling down. I had relied so heavily on product knowledge that I had no solid foundation in this new industry. Yet I knew that I could add value and it was this truth that provided my epiphany!
Product knowledge is good (vital if you want to maximise sales through cross selling) but far more important is your attitude and desire to serve the customer.
Nothing can knock your confidence when it is based upon an eager desire to serve. Building upon this further enhances great product knowledge and great sales skills but without an attitude and heart of service, success will always elude you.
Sales is service. Mary Kay Ash sums it up well, “Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, “Make me feel important.” Not only will you succeed in sales you will succeed in life.”