Just like holding up a mirror in a sales meeting, buyers reflect whatever confidence the salesperson shows them. If the salesperson demonstrates good confidence, buyers will reflect trust, certainty and long-term opportunities. If the salesperson demonstrates poor confidence then the reflection may shatter into 7 years bad luck.
Confidence is the difference between making or breaking a sale. So, as a sales manager, how can we create confidence in our team?
Confidence when selling ultimately comes from three different areas: Confidence in the individual, confidence in the company and confidence in how you can help. All three areas need to be strong in order to create a confident and compelling sales message.
In this blog, we share three ways to build these areas of confidence amongst your sales team.
1. Create confidence in the individual
The first step is to develop confidence in each individual. Your team members need to have complete certainty in their self-worth, their authority, their presence and their ability to deal with any situation when it comes up. This is not something that can happen overnight and is completely unique to every individual, therefore ongoing development and coaching support is imperative.
Each of your team members should have a personal development plan unique to themselves. When creating their plan, ask them about their current level of confidence. Are they assertive enough? Are they over-confident? Help them set measurable goals to specifically focus on developing their confidence, status, authority and expert power.
Once they have their goals, take time to shadow and coach them. Help them reach their goals by sharing with them useful resources, advice and assertiveness tips. Invest in their ongoing development through skills training. Finally, once they have developed their confidence, ask them to share their success and lessons learnt at a team meeting. This empowers them by helping others and solidifies their learning and success.
2. Create confidence in the company
The second step is to enhance your team’s confidence in the company. If your sales team has even the slightest doubt or negative opinion about the company they work for then this will seep through and blacken even the most polished sales pitch. Just like your prospect is a mirror of your salespeople; your team is a mirror of you. It is your responsibility to filter the information your team hears and deliver confident, positive messages about the company.
To enhance their confidence, help your team to better understand the company, the products and the different departments. Get them to conduct a SWOT analysis against competitors to really solidify the USP that you hold. Organise opportunities for your team to meet other departments in your company, especially with those where there may be friction. And make it your mission to get them talking positively about the company and how great it is to work there.
3. Create confidence in how you can help
The third step is to create confidence in how you can help your customer. Your team need to be overflowing with examples of how you have helped other companies in similar industries. Create a culture of sharing successes where every big win is publicised throughout the team. Be creative and use technology such as WhatsApp groups to quickly share success stories, or Vimeo to upload case studies and testimonials that your team can quickly access when out on the road.
In your next team meeting ask each individual to come along with their biggest success story, laid out in this simple format: Challenge, Solution, Result. Ask each individual to prepare to share their success story with others. Save these concise summaries into a team folder that you can easily access to find proof sources when pitching to customers.
Challenge: What was the problem before you got involved?
“Recently we worked with ABC co. whose sales team were hitting on average 80% of target”
Solution: How did you solve it?
“We put into place a 13-week training and coaching solution that focused specifically on prioritising revenue generating activities”
Result: What was the measurable result of this?
“In just 13 weeks we saw an increase in the average output against target to over 105%, increasing revenues in the company by £500,000”
Clear, quantifiable examples will help your team create confidence in their offer and demonstrate value to their prospect. The more of these examples they have prepared and are ready to use, the more confidence they will have in how they can help.
To summarise, in order to create confidence, your team need to build certainty around three key areas. Firstly, confidence in themselves. Secondly, confidence around the company they represent. And finally, confidence in how they can help. Use long-term personal development programmes to support them with this, share success stories and keep developing that contagious confidence that will reflect in your buyer’s decision to say, “Yes”.
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