How To Build Self Confidence In Salespeople

Published: 20th May 2010
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Every first contact with a potential client is a journey into the unknown: no salesperson knows what reception they will get and whether the visit will be successful or not. The natural reaction to this uncertainty is fear. Therefore to help overcome this feeling hold sales training sessions to build their self-confidence.

To become a successful sales person the first step is to identify this anxiety, admit that it exists and discover how to manage it. Therefore try to analyse, with your salespeople, the possible causes of their fear:

Lack of skills: anyone lacking skills is also lacking in self-confidence. Those who do not have self-confidence develop fears. The following questions may help you examine the situation:

What does the sales person need to know about their merchandise and its customer's use? What sales techniques does the salesperson need to have mastered? What does the salesperson need to do in order to become the number one for the client?

Your sales people must encompass the correct attitude towards their occupation.

The desire for recognition is deeply rooted in the human psyche. It is particularly difficult to receive the desired recognition when dealing with new clients who are strangers. The initiative at the end of the day needs to come from the salesperson - they approach the prospective client and introduce themselves, their company and product to them.

Persuade your sales people to ask themselves the subsequent questions:

How do I feel if a client behaves in an unfriendly manner towards me? Is it really realistic to expect immediate recognition from someone at the first meeting? Would it be sensible to change my own expectations?

Your sales people should understand that a major part of their apprehension is based on a self-made dilemma: their expectations are too high and therefore their own sense of disappointment is all the greater.

Lack of self-confidence: Do your salespeople see themselves as experts in their field? Do they see you as the bearer of good tidings and a problem solver? Do they require technical sales training?

Every client that your salesperson visits or contacts, will ask themselves the question: "Is this a time waster or do they really have some interesting information that I should listen to?"

Your salespeople need to have an answer to this question and this answer begins with their self-image and self-confidence. Self-confidence functions like a thermostat: the higher the self-confidence, the higher the ensuing performance and success. Even if a salesperson is standing right in front of the decision-maker and the need for the product is great, the deal can still fail as a result of lacking self-confidence. Every trick and technique will fail if a salesperson has self doubts.

Many salespeople see themselves as peddlers. Anyone with this view will also be seen by the client as a peddler and time waster, will look like a peddler and sound like one. The transformation from peddler to competent, equal negotiating partner begins in the mind.

Strong self-confidence works like a catalyst: words and sales skills are only as good as the self-confidence in the voice.

Are your salespeople wrestling with negative thoughts? When you are ready to be in control of your destructive emotions and say the correct things to yourself, foremost psychologists are certain that it is possible to fight against these feelings.

False ideas only disappear once they have been replaced by other ideas.

Lacking a sense of reality: Do your salespeople view clients' disinterest and reservation as rejection? These two ways of behaving are a wholly common response to an unfamiliar person who has made unsolicited contact. It does not have anything to do with rejection. It is more likely to be the case that the client has had a bad day, just dismissed a valued colleague or had a client cancel a large order. However, the negotiating partner may be a naturally reserved or mistrustful person.

Instill in your salespeople that their business is just as legitimate and serious as that of the client. Their time is as precious as that of the customer. They are - irrespective of title, age or position - an equal person.

As sales people they also have the distinct opportunity of gathering data concerning significant developments in their area of business. They are reporters who observe the client at work. They observe different users and uses for their commodities and services and can judge how cost-effective or not these users work. They see what does and does not work. They are therefore in the unique position of being able to provide the potential client with their valuable practical experience. Lots of companies pay large consultancy fees for what they offer at no cost.

When your sales people see themselves and their career in this vane as advisors, they will no longer be wanting in self-assurance nor a feeling of reality. Consultative sales training can further assist to develop your team's skills.


Richard Stone a Director for Spearhead Training Ltd that runs management and sales training programmes aimed at improving business performance.

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