Every successful sale starts with a confident salesperson. Here’s what you can do to become more confident when you sell.
It’s a skill.
Why do I think confidence is a skill? Because you can learn to be confident. It is also an important skill for selling. You can sell without confidence, but it will be much harder to do and it will take you longer.
Imagine making a recommendation to a customer when you lack confidence and how persuasive you would sound. You wouldn’t sound very convincing. Do you think your customer will listen to your recommendation? It’s far less likely. The basics for confidence come from being prepared for your sales call. You should have a plan for the call so at least you can focus on implementing the plan instead of worrying about what might happen during the sales call or worse waste time on meaningless small talk.
What does confidence sound like?
A confident salesperson sounds a certain way. He talks neither too fast nor too slow. The stereotypical fast talking salesperson doesn’t convey confidence. He is more likely to be mistrusted. Why? When people lie they talk faster to distance themselves from the lie. Fast-talking is also perceived as a nonverbal clue of being too assertive and too pushy. You can see how lying and pushiness detract from appearing confident.
What about speaking slowly? Talking too slow sounds to others that you lack certainty about what you are saying. Again that is not confident. The pace of confidence is neither too fast nor too slow.
Another way to sound confident is to pay attention to your voice volume especially when you make recommendations. Your volume should be equal at the end of the sentence as it is at the beginning. When some people lack confidence, their voice volume trails off at the end of their sentence. The listener hears that the speaker lacks confidence when recommendations have less volume at the end of the sentence than they do at the beginning of the sentence.
What does confidence look like?
A confident salesperson is able to make appropriate eye contact with his customers. What is appropriate? It’s making eye contact about 50% of the time. There’s one caveat about eye contact to be both confident and not detract from building rapport with customers. Some customers are uncomfortable with your consistent eye contact.
First you have to know which customers these are who don’t want too much eye contact. They tend to be less assertive people who talk slower and softer. They also make less eye contact with you. As you notice these customers prefer less eye contact, you should match what you observe. Yes, a confident salesperson pays attention to the clues and adjusts what he does to make his customer more comfortable.
What words make you sound less confident?
Hedging words are words which make you sound less confident. They detract from what you say. When people say, “I’m no expert, but you should use this.” They sound less confident. Another example is, “ You might want to use this. It might work.” Might? Banish the word might when you want to sound confident. Instead, you should say, “I recommend that you use this.”
A great way to start to sell is to know your products and services and which ones would be great choices for your customers. When you look and sound confident you are more likely to have customers make those choices and buy from you.