Everywhere we turn, we hear that “confidence” is the key to being a great salesperson. A great salesperson speaks with confidence. A great salesperson exudes confidence in their personal appearance and demeanor. A great salesperson confidently pushes back on procurement games and holds the line on discounting pressure.
Wait…what was that last one again?
Something doesn’t make sense. On the one hand, we have salespeople who—by their very nature—have tremendous confidence in most respects. On the other hand, those very same salespeople are often quick to acquiesce to discount demands and pricing pressure in the field.
So, what gives? How is it that people who are so confident by nature can become spineless jellyfish at the negotiation table?
The answer is pretty obvious…
Far too often, salespeople just don’t buy what they’re selling. They believe in themselves, while not believing in the products or services they’re representing. They’re confident in their own abilities, while lacking confidence in their offerings’ abilities to provide value. They’re confident delivering the pitch, while lacking confidence in what the pitch is actually saying.
The bottom line is that hiring personally-confident salespeople is just table stakes. And, it’s not enough to just hand them the value propositions and case-building materials. For those salespeople to be really effective at reinforcing and capturing the value of your offerings, they actually have to believe what those things are saying.
In other words, make the first sale to your salespeople. Because if they aren’t sold on the value of your offerings—if they really don’t believe your value propositions—all the personal confidence in the world won’t make a bit of difference.