| By Meridith Elliott Powell |
We all do it; you know the story and in fact you have lived the story. As sales people, sometimes we lose our confidence just at the last minute, just when we need it most. This sound familiar? You have a prospect, one you have been working on for a while, and finally, finally they are interested and ready to buy. In fact, given the conversations you have had with them (and what an amazing sales person you are), you know they are open to buying big. You make a plan, you put together your proposal and on paper, you are ready to “go for it!”Then for some reason, when the prospect is in front of you and it comes time to close the deal, you back down. You still ask for the business (yay you) but you lower your price or you don’t ask them to buy as much as you had planned to. Whatever it is, you lose your nerve at the final hour.
Why? Why when everything looks good, and we know that prospect is ready to go big, do we back down and start acting like a kid who cannot get a date rather than the confident sales people we are? First, give yourself a break because that is normal, that is human nature and we all at some point in our sales careers do it. Second, it is a sign that you need to do some work on building your sales muscle and boosting your confidence.
No one – okay maybe a few people – go into sales with their confidence level where it needs to be. And unfortunately, because we don’t talk about confidence as a “sales skill,” many spend their whole careers losing their nerve at the last minute and never really getting the price or level of sales they could. So how do you build your confidence and strengthen your sales muscle?
3 Sales Strategies To Boost Your Confidence
1. Sell From Power: If you want to be that sales person who closes big deals and gets her price, then you need to learn to sell from a place of power. In other words, you need to not care if the deal closes. Whoa, now calm down, I can hear you all the way over here. “Not care if the deal closes, isn’t that the point of sales?” Well yes, it is, but if you want to command more and sell more you have to be not so vested in the close. The reason we lose our nerve or chicken out at the last minute is not because the prospect won’t buy; it is because we get ‘scared’ we are going to lose the deal. And the only reason we get scared we are going to lose the deal is because we are desperate for the deal to close. If you want to boost your sales confidence and build your sales muscle then focus more on the ask and less on the close. Keep your energy on helping and serving the client and less on closing the deal. (I will write more in future blogs about the strategies and steps you need to sell from a place of power – key to sales success.)
2. Sell To Share: Sales is a delicate balance, offer too little and you are not helping the client, offer too much and you are too aggressive and too pushy. So how do you strike the balance? You sell to share rather than push to close. One of the top reasons that prospects and customers do not buy more from you is because they do not know what you have to offer and you never asked. Rather than thinking about selling products or pushing services when you talk with clients, think about sharing ideas. Using phrases such as, “I like to let my clients know the range of services we can use to help them,” or “Based on what you have shared with me, I know we are talking about this product today, but here are a few others that could really make a difference to your bottom line.” Authentically and honestly ensuring you ‘share’ all you can do to help your clients will build your confidence and close more (and bigger) deals.
3. Sell For Position: Okay, even the best of us, even with all these ideas and work we have done to build our sales muscle, we sometimes lose our nerve when it comes right down to it. There are just some deals you really want, and no matter how cool, calm and collected you act, you just do not want to lose the deal. In that case, you need to sell for position. You close the deal, take any piece of business you are willing to ask for, but do not leave that meeting without positioning the next deal. Sometimes you just want to get in the door and closing even the smallest piece of business feels like a win. However, if you want to sell more or sell bigger you have to plant the seed in that sales meeting.
Telling prospects things like, “Great, I am excited to be working together, and I am going to head back to the office and get your project moving. Once we get this in motion, we can talk about some more ideas to help you achieve your goals.” Often I keep a menu of services, or present a next steps proposal right when I am closing that first piece of business. Planting the seeds for next steps while you are closing a piece of business will boost your confidence and position you to ask for more business.
Confidence is the key to sales. Remember, people buy from you, especially in this economy, mostly because they know, like, and trust you. Your energy, how much you believe in yourself, transfers to how much prospects believe in you and how much they buy from you. Using these three sales strategies will boost your sales muscle and build your sales confidence.
Voted One Of The Top Business Growth Experts To Watch, Meridith Elliott Powell is an award winning author, business strategist and keynote speaker. She helps her clients learn the strategies to succeed no matter what this economy does. She publishes innovative ideas on sales, leadership and business success on her website www.valuespeaker.com.