Approaching your parents to ask for money was always frustrating. Before the words were even out of your mouth, the answer was already no. How could they respond without even listening? From your eye contact to the way you walk, body language and facial expressions are powerful ways of persuading your prospects into saying yes. To avoid turning off your customers or getting a quick rejection, learn what it takes to build sales confidence today.
How salespeople can build sales confidence
1) Be grateful for the challenges
Part of selling with confidence is believing you’ve won the fight before even stepping into the ring. Every day, sales development reps face new challenges on the sales floor that strike them in their guts. Usually these challenges are objections or rejections that question their integrity or the product’s quality. When this happens, and a prospect starts to really grill you, don’t let them see you break—not a crack in your voice or sweaty, quivering hands. Instead, handle the situation with gratitude. Gratitude is being thankful for whatever comes your way, good or bad, because you will always learn, grow and improve yourself from the experience.
Selling with confidence tip: Focus on your average numbers. If you get a string of “not interested” from prospects one day but are flooded with opportunities the next, then don’t worry about the rejections.
2) Master your facial expressions
Body language expert Dr. Donna Van Natten explores the science behind facial expressions and nonverbal communication. In her book Image Scrimmage, she explains that when people are first sizing you up, they look at your eyes and smile.
“Eye contact is a sign of trust,” she says, and smiles are the universal indicator of “it’s okay, I’m safe.” Trust and safety are two important decision-making factors when making a purchase. So, it’s important to be mindful of your facial expressions on video, calls, and in photos.
Selling with confidence tip: Practice making eye contact with others, softening your expressions, and sprinkling in a genuine smile throughout conversations. Always have a clear headshot on your social media, and don’t forget to smile even when speaking over the phone, as research shows that people can hear changes in a voice when someone smiles!
3) Say less words
Speaking concisely means giving all relevant information clearly and succinctly. During dodgeball, it’s a natural instinct to run away when you have ten balls flying at your face. The same goes for a cluttered sales pitch that focuses on ten features or solutions at once. Being concise allows for the customer to follow along easily and you won’t waste time by having to elaborate or repeat yourself.
Selling with confidence tip: A confident sales person speaks without the “uhs…” and “umms…” These placeholders not only make your pitch less impactful by slowing it down, but they also make you seem uncertain.
Exercises to prevent looking or feeling defeated
(i.e. “Sales Confidence 101”)
Football coach Vince Lombardi once said, “practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.” Perfect practice consists of learning battle-tested methods from your peers on building confidence in sales. It also includes rehearsing, role-playing scenarios, and getting constructive feedback on how to up your game. By themselves, it may be difficult to practice properly. Iron sharpens iron, right? Here are three team exercises to try:
1) Role-play objection-handling
Have your sales rep explain the #1 reason for someone rejecting your product or service. Then, put your team in groups to brainstorm answers to these objections, identify the top responses, and demonstrate how to deliver counter-responses to these common complaints. Then, role-play these situations. The more realistic the scenarios, the more comfortable sales reps will be in front of customers.
2) Practice non-verbal communication
Sales confidence is about mastering control over your body in every situation. Using your common objections list from the previous exercise, have reps think of ways to communicate responses without speaking. For example, when the “your price is too high” conversation arises, does your rep unconsciously slump over in defeat?
Teach your team how to convey compassion for their customer’s financial issues with eye contact alone. Demonstrate your attentiveness with frequent nodding of your head. And most importantly, don’t change your body language to show disagreement. Always stand strong with your chin up, and keep your body open.
3) Read and repeat exercise
Find products or services outside of your industry. Give reps ten minutes to study it, then have them give a short pitch about what it is, who the customers are, and what solution it provides them. Limit your reps to a 30-60 second pitch, and evaluate them on how concisely they delivered. This exercise helps your reps quickly process and speak about an unfamiliar topic and build sales confidence when handling curveballs client questions.
Avoid sounding goofy over the phone
Sales confidence over the phone requires an air-tight vocal cadence. This refers to the rhythm, pitch, and pacing of your words. Talking too low comes off as unprofessional and timid; but speaking too loud or quickly means you risk slipping into the sleazy salesman stereotype by forcing the situation. Relax, find balance in your cadence, and pretend you’re catching up with your mother. Your confidence will be felt on the other end of the line.
Honest Truth About Building Confidence in Sales
A confident sales person falls in love with adversity. Rather than allowing a bad experience to get the best of them, reps accept each challenge as another workout session that’ll eventually get them a 6-pack. Last but not least, here’s the honest truth: sales confidence is something earned, not given.
Confidence is built through peer-reviewed training and feedback. Even naturally self-assured people can struggle with performance when prospecting, which is why it’s important to have the best prospecting tool to give a full scope on your customer. This way, when reaching out, your customized pitch will ensure you that you know exactly what to say. Looking for a prospecting tool?
Check out Lusha today.