“You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky, ex National Hockey League Super Star.
My sales spin is,
“If you don’t ask, there is no chance that you will get the answer you want”.
Confidence in the sales profession is paramount to success, but does not happen over night. If you are not in sales, please keep reading. This post has merit for whatever you may be “selling” in your personal or professional life. We have all been selling and negotiating from the moment that we could speak as toddlers!
Confidence allows people opportunities in life that they may not experience if they are tentative and uncertain. When people feel good about themselves, are not afraid to ask questions and involve themselves in potentially challenging situations, they will generally like the outcomes.
Do not mistake confidence for arrogance though. I have seen both, and one is very appealing in business and personal interactions. The other… well not so much!
When you combine confidence with most (or all) of the characteristics below in sales and/or life, very cool things can happen!
- Driven to succeed
- Independent worker and thinker
How did I know if somebody would make it in sales?
I have seen a lot of outside sales reps (retail reps too) come and go during my career. It took me a few years to really get a sense of what the signs were if they would succeed. I was quite certain most of the time, after our first couple of meetings.
What typically tipped me off?
- How they carried themselves (do they have a bounce in their step?)
- Dressed neatly (not necessarily the most expensive clothes) and cared about how they looked
- Solid handshake
- Maintained good eye contact
- Engaged well in conversation
- Wanted to learn / Inquisitive
- Enthusiastic / Excitable
- Personable / Outgoing
If you take a moment to digest that list, many of those attributes can be directly related to being confident. Imagine how different that list would be if you did not feel good about yourself and your abilities?
I urge you to start networking with people who are working towards similar goals if you are not already. It has become common knowledge that you start to portray similar characteristics to the 5 people who you are the closest with. Work on feeling more confident in areas of your personal and professional life that you don’t feel as comfortable in as soon as possible.
For me, getting up in front of crowds to speak was frightening for many years due to my stutter, and now there is nothing I would rather do. It was a long road, but I am glad that I am getting closer to where I need to be thanks to a strong support group of family, friends and Toastmasters.
Confidence does not happen over night, and you cannot push a “magic button” to change how you feel about yourself and your abilities. If you don’t try, you will never know what the outcome could have been. Once you “flip the switch” to knowing you will succeed, and not being afraid to fail, you will see positive changes in your life.
Would love if you “liked” my Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/SellLeadSucceed
I have complied a large collection of sales quotes over the past 2 years. Here are my five favourites:
- Be a good listener. Your ears will never get you in trouble – Frank Tyger
- Become the differentiator. What you sell can be copied but you can’t – Jill Konrath
- Stop selling. Start helping – Zig Ziglar
- Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect – W. Clement Stone
- If you’re speaking and not getting a reaction, well, you are just making a speech – Unknown
I would love to know what your favourite sales and/or business quote is.
Send me an email at TimMushey@gmail.com and I will share the top 5 responses early in 2014!
This is how you properly prepare before a sales call “Tim Mushey style!”
Oh yeah, if you have not stopped by my Facebook page yet, why don’t you this weekend at http://www.Facebook.com/SellLeadSucceed
There is also “no cover charge” for Black Friday over at our LinkedIn discussion group – The Daily Music Sanctuary.
I peaked your curiosity didn’t I? http://linkd.in/OeKGgr
See you over there 🙂
My first job out of university was with a car rental company. One of the key statistics that we were “graded” on was what percentage of customers purchased the $0 deductible coverage on each rental.
When I started to sell it, I was unsure of my pitch, hesitated often, and I didn’t believe in the value of the service.
One super-star in the office sold a higher percentage of the coverage then the rest of us . I started to watch him sell as often as I could, but it was difficult to get a read on his secrets to success.
I discovered a great way to find out what his “secrets” were. I asked him 🙂
His answer was powerful, yet simple.
“I expected to sell it to every customer. I had the mindset that there was no reasons that they should not buy it. What better time to have worry-free driving then when their car was in the shop or they were going on holidays. I was confident in my sales pitch, and acted surprised if they declined initially. Those objections still typically converted in to sales”.
When I shifted my mindset from “I hope to sell it” to “I expect to sell it” – it was a game changer for me. I still had to practice my pitch, learn to handle objections and be ready for all scenarios; but that expectation of success steadily improved my results.
- Can you reflect upon a time in your career when you felt confident selling something vs. being a little unsure of yourself?
- Describe what the difference in results were when you expected success?
- If you are not as confident as you should be now with what you are selling, what changes can you make to gain positive momentum?
“Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time.” – Arnold H. Glasow
I often tell people….
“I’m in sales, so I will always ask the question. The worst they can say is no”.
Although this logic may come across as a little generic and obvious, are you guilty of not asking a question because you think you already know the answer?
Some key situations where I have asked questions and had positive results include:
- Receiving referrals from current customers that would turn in to new business
- Offering other products that resulted in unexpected add-on sales
- In the mattress business, I would ask that my products be moved to higher visibility areas of stores to increase exposure
A couple of “fun ones” include:
- I have about a 95% success rate of returning products outside the return policy time frame and/or without a receipt
- I rented a beer sales representative a vehicle many years ago, and asked if I could sample some of his product upon return of the car. I was more joking than anything. To my surprise, he brought me back a case of beer on a Friday of a long weekend.
Two events happened recently that got me thinking about this topic again:
- I went to pick up 3 pizzas and new the restaurant owner quite well. I said, “Oh is it buy 2 get 1 free night?” He laughed and said “yeah right”. As I was about to walk away with my order he put a free order of garlic bread on top
- I was out for lunch with friends, and one of the guys got married over Christmas. The owner of the restaurant knew him, and when he walked over to say greet us, I mentioned the recent nuptials and how his meal show be free. It was a total joke, but the owner ended up taking care of his meal.
So what does this all mean?
The real “ah-ha” moment as I reflected back on these events was….
I planted the seeds to get the results that I wanted.
If I had not taken the time to ask questions with confidence and in a casual way, I would have never achieved the desired results.
When you are in sales, you need to get used to hearing the word “NO”. That is an occupational hazard of this line of work. If you can’t handle the rejection you are in the wrong industry. But a few tweaks to your mindset like I have illustrated can give you more positive results than you ever imagined.
So next time you are predicting a “NO” why not just ask anyways for the fun of it?
You may like the answer!
Yep – sometimes a sales call does not go according to plan! Be ready to adapt at a moment’s notice.
Have a great weekend!
Recently my son decided that he did not want to play ice hockey this year. He was more interested in Tai Kwon Do and wanted to give it a try. My wife and I had several conversations with him to see if there was another underlying reason he wanted to stop playing “Canada’s National Sport”, but his passions just seemed to lie elsewhere.
Our stomachs initially felt weird thinking about missing all the great friends that we had made over the two winters while Elliot played hockey. I also felt sad about not coaching anymore because I really enjoyed being involved with the kids, and seeing them progress every time they laced about the skates.
My wife and I soon had a reality check. It is NOT about us. It is about our son and his happiness. We are going to support him 100% in whatever he chooses to do in life.
My thoughts quickly turned to the sales profession. So often people get caught up in their own agendas, goals and motivations, that they tend to forget that they are supposed to be acting in the best interests of customers and/or prospects.
- Remember the great quote from Frank Tyger,
“Be a good listener, your ears will never get you in trouble”.
Don’t just “barf” your sales pitch on them.
Find out what they really want to buy!
I would love to hear your thoughts about a time that a sales rep acted in your best interests, or maybe a time that they did not.
How quickly from the start of an interaction did you know if it would be a good experience or not?
Thanks in advance for your contributions!
One last thing… I would love to connect on Facebook (if we are not already) at http://www.facebook.com/SellLeadSucceed
Summers are short in Northern Canada, so I have to make the best of the warm weather and longer days!
I actually do sell in the summer, and just wanted to get your attention with a catchy title 🙂
Here are the top 5 things that I like to do with customers and/or prospects when most of my competitors are on the golf course:
- Drop by later in the day with cold drinks and snacks. Most people are stuck at their desks just counting down the minutes until they get to leave and enjoy the sun too!
- Take them out to lunch! Make sure to sit on a patio and take in the great weather.
- Attend an outdoor sports game, concert or other outdoor event. No better way to get to know them than enjoying these activities together
- Plan a trip with key customers. Every time I hear about customer trips they rave about the good fun for years to come!
- Have a “there are still people to sell to” mentality vs. “everyone is off ’til September so I will just coast” mentality.
These business building activities will pay dividends in the long run. Nobody likes being stuck in the office when the weather is balmy!
I am sure there are many other great ideas that I am missing. But the key is to:
- get creative
- build rapport
- get sales!
You don’t want to risk your competitors having all the great ideas!