Have you ever been knocked down in a sales situation—and it just totally depleted your confidence?
As you’re reeling from a bad interaction with a prospect, you might even think to yourself, “I’m not feeling confident in my selling at all anymore.”
Being a confident salesperson is hard. It’s incredibly common for salespeople to lose confidence, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
The important thing is that you start developing a new mindset that makes you a more naturally confident salesperson. There are some tangible actions you can take to increase your confidence, overcoming your past experiences to feel truly confident in front of your next prospect.
Whether it’s on the phone or face to face, it’s time to become the confident salesperson you have the potential to be. So in this video, I’m going to show you 7 ways to be a more confident salesperson.
Check it out:
Be a More Confident Salesperson Tip #1: Stop needing the business
I had an amazing mentor early on in my selling career who once told me, “I don’t care if you need to close the sale in order to pay for gas just to drive home after the meeting. Never need the business in your head. Anytime you’re in front of a prospect, you do not need the business. I don’t care if you actually do need money—you do not need the business.”
This is a crucial mindset shift when it comes to being a more confident salesperson.
If you mentally don’t need the business, then you can do anything you want in a selling situation. You’re free to be yourself, without pressures that would otherwise make you sound unnatural or inauthentic. What’s more, if you make a mistake, it’s no big deal. If the prospect says something that throws you off, you’ll calmly react to it. And if you say something that doesn’t sit well with the prospect—so what? You don’t need the business.
On the other hand, if you mentally need the business, I guarantee you’re going to make more mistakes.
If you’re not a confident salesperson, you’re going to try to close sales that are never going to happen. You’re going to maintain a pipeline full of junk out of desperation to make a sale. And your prospects will be able to sense it all.
The moment you stop needing the business is the moment you become an infinitely more confident salesperson in front of any prospect.
Be a More Confident Salesperson Tip #2: Remember that it’s a game
Selling is not real life. Prospects can’t hurt us. All they can do is tell us to go take a hike.
And you know what? Even that isn’t so bad. It’s happened to me many times. I’ve been kicked out of offices before and I’m here to tell you—it just doesn’t matter.
If you want to be a more confident salesperson, you must remember that selling is a lot like a video game or a sport. It’s a game where you have two different sides playing different roles. And a game should never be taken that seriously.
If you don’t close a sale because of something you did or said, don’t take it personally. Don’t get upset or angry. If the prospect does something that pisses you off, don’t get angry about that either. Instead, recognize that it’s just a game.
The more unemotional you can be about what goes on in the game of selling, the stronger you will be at sales—and the more confident salesperson you’ll become.
Be a More Confident Salesperson Tip #3: Take risks
As I said before, prospects can’t hurt us. So why not take risks?
The vast majority of salespeople are risk-averse, and that mostly stems from lack of confidence. They say, “What if I take that risk and it fails? What if they kick me out of the office? What if they yell at me? What if they get mad?”
Well…what’s the big deal? The worst that can happen is they hang up the phone, ask you to leave, or make a rude comment. That’s it.
Simply put, salespeople don’t take enough risks because of these perceived fears. But the more risks we take, the better off we’re going to be in sales. Top performers are constantly taking far more risks than average performers.
If we’re not taking risks in sales, we’re never growing. If you’re never growing, you can’t become a more confident salesperson.
And you know what? You might screw up sometimes. You might get hung up on. But who cares? The same risk that seemed like a mistake with one prospect could end up helping you close a sale with another. So be willing to take risks to grow your confidence in sales.
Be a More Confident Salesperson Tip #4: Stop trying to fix situations gone wrong
One of the most frequent questions I hear from salespeople is: “How can I fix a sales situation that’s gone south?” In fact, I have an online forum of salespeople who are constantly asking me questions, and about 50% of those questions are about how to fix a sales situation that has gone wrong.
A common scenario is that a salesperson has given a presentation…and then the prospect has stopped returning their calls. They ask, “What should I do now?” The answer is that there’s not a lot you can do at that point—besides move on and learn from the situation.
The real problem most likely occurred much earlier on in that selling interaction, far before the presentation. Something caused the prospect to think, “Eh, this isn’t right for me.” And so they stopped responding.
When we stop trying to fix situations gone wrong, and instead just try to learn from them and do better next time, we grow as salespeople instead of fixating on negative experiences.
Obviously, you don’t want to just give up the minute a sales situation gets hairy or seems like it might be difficult. But you also don’t want to spend your emotional energy trying to fix those situations where something goes wrong and the prospect checks out.
Instead, try to diagnose what happened in that situation. If you can, get feedback from the prospect about what went wrong. It might hurt to hear at first, but that knowledge will ultimately make you a stronger, more confident salesperson.
Be a More Confident Salesperson Tip #5: Learn, every single time
My father used to always say that people who stop learning start dying. It’s always stuck with me because it’s so true—especially in sales.
As we discussed in the previous tip, learning from bad sales situations is key to becoming a more confident salesperson. But this concept applies to so much more. The moment we say to ourselves, “I already know everything I need to know about selling,” is the moment we start to get worse at sales.
Every single time we’re in front of a prospect, whether it’s a great experience or a bad one, we need to be learning something new. What could you have done differently? What threw the prospect off there? What might have improved the selling situation? Or, what made the sale so great? Why did the prospect respond so well to that presentation?
In my own selling, I’m constantly asking myself these questions and trying to learn from each sales interaction. Just because I’m putting together these videos about sales doesn’t mean that I’ve arrived at every single answer. I’m always trying to refine and fine-tune those little selling moments by learning every single time I’m in front of a prospect.
And by the way, the more you’re learning in every selling situation, the better you’re going to get at taking adversity in stride. You won’t just throw up your hands and quit so easily if your intention is to learn. Instead, you’ll ask questions. You’ll want to discover how you can be better. You’ll connect more with prospects, even if they don’t end up buying from you.
Through all of this learning, you’ll become a more confident salesperson by virtue of all the knowledge you accrue from every sales interaction.
Be a More Confident Salesperson Tip #6: SW cubed N
You read that right: SW cubed N. SW cubed N stands for Some Will, Some Won’t, So What? Next.
It might sound trite or ridiculous but SW cubed N is something I learned a long time ago that has remained relevant and powerful throughout the years—and it always will be.
We need to stop taking ourselves so seriously in sales. Top performers are consistently willing to accept when things go awry with prospects, and they can easily move on. Some Will, Some Won’t, So What? Next.
Confident salespeople don’t get caught up in every single selling situation. Focusing on prospects who aren’t a good fit will lower your confidence in sales. Instead, go into every selling situation with the SW cubed N attitude.
The more we start to internalize this mindset, the stronger we will be in sales. SW cubed N is one of the key signature phrases to becoming a more confident salesperson.
Be a More Confident Salesperson Tip #7: Quit making friends
The idea that salespeople should be friends with their prospects is a really old-school selling mentality.
This idea of the hyper-social, friend-focused salesperson is especially prevalent in certain smaller, insular industries. You know what I mean: Those industries replete with really schmoozy salespeople just chumming it up with everyone in sight.
Now, I’m not saying that you should be rude to prospects. Of course you should be friendly! But the goal of sales is not to make friends.
The goal of sales is to sell. When we are emotionally and mentally trying to make friends with every single person we’re talking to, and it’s not reciprocated, we get frustrated. We lose confidence. So instead of trying to make friends, focus instead on determining whether a prospect is a fit.
Now, I want to be clear. You can become great friends with your clients. That’s fine. Clients are very different from prospects. Clients are people who are already paying you, who are already part of your company’s family.
But prospects are not your friends. They are just passing strangers—and only a few of them will ever become your clients. Many of them are going to remain prospects and you’re going to forget about them quickly and literally never think about them again.
A major key to having confidence in sales is not putting emotional energy into these relationships with prospects. Because I guarantee you, you will be shut down by many of them, and then you’ll lose confidence in yourself. Instead, quit making friends and instead determine whether someone’s a fit. If they’re not a fit, move on.
So, there you have it. Now you know 7 ways to be a more confident salesperson. I want to hear from you. Which of these ideas did you find most useful? Be sure to share below in the comments section to get involved in the conversation.
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About the Author Marc Wayshak
Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.
Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.
Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.