There’s something to be said for being naturally confident when it comes to a successful career in sales – after all, it’s an industry that’s all about connection and communication. Nevertheless, even the more introverted among us can acquire a great deal of confidence out there in the field when we learn from our experiences and have great role models for guidance.
Here are some insider tips from sales pros Meital Pogrebisky, Account Executive at Xplor and Cindy Wang, Snr Enterprise Customer Success Manager APAC at Autodesk, to help in building confidence in your own sales career.
When speaking to an audience, find a reminder that helps you remember that, regardless of the title of the individual you’re presenting to or the size of the company they work for, they are only human after all. It might sound silly, but I like to remind myself that each of the people in the meeting was once a toddler who had to learn basic skills. ‘Humanise’ your audience and it will help you calm any nerves and overcome objections effectively.
I have seen plenty of successful salespeople who are introverted and don’t feel the need to speak a lot or be centre of attention. For me, a good salesperson is a keen listener, adds value to your prospects and goes into every opportunity with a win-win mindset and offering a helping hand. These are the things that help you gain trust from your prospects, get results and enable you to perpetuate a cycle of confidence.
I once had a large opportunity in my pipeline for several months which, after many hours of demonstrations and business proposals, looked like a promising deal. However, the client ultimately decided not to proceed. While I was certainly disappointed, it didn’t affect my morale. Truthfully, rejections are just a guaranteed part of a sales career; no one has a 100% long-term close rate. The quicker we can accept this and remove our ego from these scenarios, the quicker we can start capitalising on the insights that exist in each of these rejections to set ourselves up for further success.
I definitely believe that in general, confidence comes from competence. It’s a positive ‘vicious circle’. Always seek help and guidance to work out what gaps exist between you and the successful sales professional you aspire to become.
See feedback as a gift, not criticism. Work on techniques to identify the right prospects, build pipelines, pitch to various personas, negotiate and close deals! There are also plenty of self-learning materials you can find online and/or training courses offline. I have found that when you have a solid base of knowledge and skills, your confidence really does come naturally.
Confidence is not simply an innate attribute that some are born with and some are not. The reality is that whatever your personality type, being a confident salesperson can really grow and improve over time and with a little effort, you’ll be amazed at how quickly that sense of confidence becomes second nature to you.