There is a fine line between an ego and confidence. An ego acts as a repellent. Confidence draws people in like a magnet. Sales professionals need to build and exude confidence, while avoiding an ego at all costs.
Sales Science vs Art
Sales should be looked at as more of a science than an art. The science lays the foundation for the art to be effective. For example, think about the meetings where you’re completely prepared versus the meetings where you’re completely unprepared. Which meeting goes well? Science versus art.
Sales Knowledge and Confidence
There are some components of confidence that are built by preparation and knowledge (science) while others are built on attitude and mindset (art). Product knowledge is important in sales. When you know what your product does and can explain it clearly, it gives you a certain amount of confidence. However, understanding how people use your solution enables even more confidence. After you read the spec sheets and memorize the details, read every single case study you can get your hands on. Call an existing client and ask them about the difference between your solution and others. The product knowledge (science) will give you a baseline in order to connect the dots and tell the stories that will take it to another level (art).
Sales is about Believing
There’s an even deeper level of confidence when you genuinely believe in what you’re selling and the difference it makes for the right client. If you believe in what you sell, you don’t have to say phrases like, “I’m sorry to bother you…”
When making cold calls, you’re doing the prospect a favor and it’s not in an arrogant way. I truly believe that I make a difference for the right client. There is a benefit to the client, which is why I never apologize for making that call.
When you understand and believe in your solution, you can focus on the right target audience and be far more efficient with your approach. You spend less time with clients who don’t fit and more time finding the ones that do. Eventually, you build a lens that allows you to filter this quickly, and have the confidence to get out of the wrong conversations, and dive into the right ones.
When you believe in your solution, you discount a lot less. The less you believe in your solution, the higher discount you tend to use to close deals.
Ask for informational interviews with employees and leadership at your company. Ask them why they chose to work there and the key selling points of your solution. Strong, positive answers will drive your confidence to the next level. However, if you don’t get strong, positive answers, then start looking for another company to work for.