By Dave Hershman
In any sales seminar you will be taught important sales skills such as how to overcome objections and close a deal. The problem with this training is that you will not likely learn the real objection from the customer. The customer may be telling you your price is too high, but consumer surveys indicate that people do business with people they like.
Price is important but a customer is not likely to react to a low rate if they do not trust the messenger. It is much easier to say to you that they received something better somewhere else instead of saying you are someone with who they did not want to do business with.
You have to have confidence. If you don’t present yourself as confident, it will be virtually impossible for a customer to trust you or to even like you. What are signs of lacking confidence? Over the phone it can include:
- Hesitation in delivering answers
- Not knowing what to say when
- Talking instead of listening
- Lack of a confident tone
The next question is, if you are lacking confidence, how can you develop it?
If you do not know what you do not know…stop faking it and start learning. You need an educational plan that makes sure you are constantly learning. The plan should be multi-faceted and include live classes, reading articles and books, online courses and more.
If the problem is projecting your knowledge, you need to practice! Role-playing is an excellent method of practicing conversations with prospects. Talking on the phone to customers is not practicing. As a matter of fact, this may result in ingraining bad habits.
To gain confidence, you should also go out and join organizations and participate in their activities. Here are two possibilities:
- Join a networking group through the chamber of commerce or BNI. Volunteer to present information to the group or an individual who wants to learn.
- Join Toastmasters, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping members become public speakers. It is inexpensive to join, and most areas have local chapters.
If you use these methods, they will lead you to networking opportunities and more business – while you learn and gain confidence. Put yourself in situations where you are surrounded by others and can network. Force yourself to engage in conversations.
The key to networking is to listen! Those who have confidence do not feel the need to talk about their knowledge constantly. They continue to learn. Confidence is a major key to success that may be missing from your arsenal.