How important is confidence when it comes to sales?
IT. IS. EVERYTHING.
Thinking back to my political days, I used to say that political fundraising is very much a momentum sport. Once a candidate gets on a roll, people want to be a part of it, and start handing money over.
Well, in my view, it is no different with sales.
And just tonight, as I’m writing this, I was listening to John McEnroe comment on a veteran tennis player on Opening Night for the U.S. Open Tennis Championships. What Mac was saying was how this aging veteran, returning from injury, “just hasn’t gotten his confidence back, and, confidence is EVERYTHING in tennis.”
Frankly, as a two-time USTA tennis tournament event winner myself, Mac is absolutely right.
But confidence in sales is more than just believing in yourself. Yes, it is true, you must believe in yourself.
But confidence in sales is more about believing what you do. And what you offer.
Some people need the perfect website, glossy collateral, sell sheets, white papers, books, blogs, so on and so forth.
What’s really happening here is two things: This salesman doesn’t really believe in what he sells, or more likely, doesn’t trust himself enough to pitch his offering to a potential buyer.
It’s easy to hide behind “a subpar website,” or that his collateral doesn’t support him in his efforts. “How can I possibly sell with that stuff?”
A confident salesman doesn’t need any of that stuff to sell. He believes in what he does, feels it deep in his bones, and can talk passionately about how he serves his customer. He would be content to sketch ideas on a napkin, if that’s what it took.
True, some buyers request material to review. To which I say, they aren’t a confident buyer. But that’s a conversation for another day.
No, a true salesman can move markets on the strength of his passion, drive, energy, and get-the-job-done-ness.
Like political fundraising, sales is a momentum sport. People want to be with a winner.
So, make them believe…
He is a former marketing strategist, national political operative, and lobbyist.
Todd has published five books, writes a business + lifestyle column, is a distance runner, and lives in Chicago with his wife Stephanie + family.