6 Ways Salespeople Kill Their Own Confidence Without Realizing It
If you were to ask the average person whether they’d ever work in sales, you’re likely to hear some variation of, “No way, I could never do that,” or “Yeah, I think I’d be really good at it.” These answers are illustrative of two different mindsets: one is filled with self-doubt, while the other is filled with confidence.
Salespeople tend to fight this internal battle themselves, trying to keep their skepticism at bay as they push through adversity and close deals.
But sometimes, salespeople kill their own confidence without consciously realizing it. It’s a form of self-sabotage that can cost a lot, even if it is unintentional.
Here’s how salespeople kill their confidence:
1. They engage in negative self-talk
How many times have you lost a deal/screwed something up/stubbed your toe and called yourself an idiot or some other bad name? It might not seem like much, but the way you talk to yourself has an impact, even if you don’t realize it. Treating yourself poorly will affect your confidence, so it’s important to talk to yourself the right way. Instead of calling yourself a bad name, say you can do better, and use your mistakes and losses as motivation to improve, not to punish yourself.
2. They focus on their coworker’s numbers
It can be difficult to keep blinders on at work, especially when our fellow salespeople are putting up big numbers. But spending time watching how well others are doing not only kills our confidence, it also takes time away from productive activities that can actually move the needle. Instead of focusing on the top performers, focus on prospecting, following up, and holding yourself accountable. After all, that’s what the top producers are doing.
3. They assume the worst
We’ve all been guilty of this: assuming that things will go wrong, that the prospect won’t call us back, that the deal won’t close, and that we won’t make President’s Club this year. It can be challenging to look at the future with rose-colored glasses, but if you can make the mindset shift and start believing that things will work out more often than not, then the results are likely to follow. Call it serendipity, the power of positive thinking, or just a preternatural phenomenon, but remember: “Smile, and the whole world smiles with you; cry, you cry alone.”
4. They spend time with the wrong coworkers
Negativity can spread through a workplace like a disease, and it’s usually the result of one or two negative coworkers affecting everybody else. This is why salespeople who have serious ambitions should steer clear of the negative workplace huddle. Don’t go to lunch with the people who seem to have a problem for every solution, because whether you know it or not, you’ll eventually start thinking the same way they do. Stick with the positive people, or put your head down and work.
5. They sell something they don’t believe in
One of the most impactful decisions on your confidence (and your sales career) happens before you even get on the phones. Picking the right workplace with the right product is of tantamount importance, because there’s nothing that will kill your confidence and enthusiasm for the job like selling a product you don’t believe in. There are, of course, some salespeople who can make themselves believe in anything, but they’re fewer and further between the rest of us, who need to know we’re offering a real solution and not just chasing a paycheck.
6. They look backward
Our brains tend to dwell on negativity, replaying our failures and embarrassments instead of focusing on what’s ahead. Thankfully, this is something you can train yourself out of, but it will take work, commitment, and a focus on what you’re focusing on. Pay attention to your thoughts and make a conscious decision to look ahead instead of dwelling on a lost deal or on that old sales job where you washed out in a few months. Remember this quote, attributed to Socrates: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
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