Working in Sales is a funny old world. You need to be more confident that is required in most careers. You have to deal with continual rejection so you need to develop a thick skin if you’re going to persevere.
I was running a coaching workshop recently with a client, during which we listened to a number of sales prospecting calls that the team had made as a way of providing feedback and constructive criticism.
What became blindingly obvious is that were some really simple tricks the team could use that would really help them improve their levels of success and each of these tips are ways to help us increase our confidence.
- Do a Power Pose
Anne Cuddy, a Harvard Business School professor has conducted research which reveals how body language can change how you perceive yourself. Subjects were asked to stand in high and low power poses, and their testosterone and cortisol levels (hormones that influence confidence) were measured before and after.
High power poses saw a 20% increase in testosterone and a 25% decrease in cortisol after just two minutes …. They’re significant changes! So before you pick up the phone for that next cold call, try leaning back in your chair with your feet on a table, hands folded behind your head, or stand up and lean forward slightly, with both hands resting on your desk.
Sounds weird, I know…. But try it.
Even if you’re feeling thoroughly miserable, a forced or fake smile is actually good for you. Research has shown that smiling, even if faked, can lower your heart rate and reduce stress levels.
So even if you’re not feeling it, smile… it’ll make you feel better.
- Find a “confidence buddy”
If you’re feeling down, it can help to lean on friends or family. Social support has positive long-term effects as well and having a support network helps people manage their stress and boost their self-esteem.
- Listen to a high-power song
Music can affect our productivity and energy levels, but it can also affect our confidence levels. Apparently, music with a heavy bass level makes us feel more powerful, so try listening to Queen’s “We Will Rock You” before a new call.
- Take on an alter ego
Picture yourself as that impressive all conquering sales person you always wanted to be and think “what would they do in this position?” This idea of visualising who we want to be has been used by top class sports people for years. It doesn’t of course, mean that we should always act like someone else, not least because we all need to develop our own unique sales style, but if you need a quick boost of confidence, visualising the “perfect” character can really help.
If we’re struggling to get the results we want, it’s often difficult to be truly self-reflective and analytical, and that’s where working with an experienced sales coach can really help… someone who can take an independent view and suggest ways to make improvements.
If you think you could use some outside help, then let’s talk.
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