The Hunt for Confidence
Any seasoned sales professional knows the old adage “fake it ’til you make it” is nothing more than a one-way ticket to the unemployment line. Sure, it comes in handy during those early years when product knowledge is a work-in-progress, but as Kelly Mallozzi explained, that simply means recognizing your own humility.
“It’s not really so much about faking as it is about admitting that you are learning, that you don’t know everything, but you will get the answer that the customer needs,” Mallozzi, principal of Chicago-based Success.In.Print, a sales and marketing consultancy to the print industry, said. Not helpful when clients need you to act larger, think bigger and feel more passionately than you’re letting on, right?
Over time, that nagging feeling of self-doubt has become the psychological hot-button of sales. Think about it. Every day you’re hustling—selling ideas, products and even your business. Why then do you struggle to sell yourself? It’s the million-dollar question with no clear-cut answer. It requires digging deep and reevaluating your process.
Before you tear down your “Hang in there, baby!” poster and call it quits, listen up. Print+Promo turned to some experts for advice on delivering confidence to clients and prospects. Below, Mallozzi and Cliff Quicksell, Jr., MAS, president and CEO of Cliff Quicksell Associates, Frederick, Md., and sales and marketing consultant for iPROMOTEu, Wayland, Mass., shared six of their best tips.
1. Choose Optimism
Tighter budgets and limited resources have become the new normal in business, with all fingers pointing to the economy. Before blaming everything on hard times and high prices, consider another underlying problem: the fear of putting yourself out there. Mallozzi believes optimism is a choice and, more importantly, non-negotiable in order to survive.
“Some might find it hard to adopt an optimistic look, but when you are in sales, it is vital. I view the whole concept of selling as a process, and as such, hearing ‘no’ is a necessary and realistic part of the process,” she said. “It is also important to be realistic. No matter how great you are, you will only be successful about 10 percent of the time.”