Confidence can be found on a sliding scale between skills and self-belief. Quarterbacks have an inner confidence that is 50% skill-based and 50% self-belief-based. Many of us have the skill set but lack the personal self-belief to walk confidently. We tell ourselves stories about how our past successes can’t determine future successes. We are constantly hedging our bets in case a deal or process doesn’t go perfectly. We hide under the guise of humility or modesty, but we lack self-belief that we are capable and professional.
Others lack the experience or skills but have self-belief in droves. We can talk about how assured we are, and we genuinely mean it. But if we lack experience, we often find ourselves unable to meet the promises we have made to our clients.
Confidence is the feeling of self-assurance that arises from one’s appreciation of one’s abilities.
During Super Bowl XLIII, the Steelers came out swinging. Big Ben led the team to a 20–7 lead and things were looking up. As quick as the tides could turn, the Arizona Cardinals took the lead. By the time there were two minutes and thirty seconds left on the clock, the scoreboard read 23–20. As Coach Arians recounts the story in his book, all eyes looked to Big Ben. “He was a picture of steely, cocksure, confidence…” Ben said, “We were built for this moment! We got this!’” And “got this” they did. Big Ben led a winning touchdown drive down the field, and the Steelers went home with the Vince Lombardi trophy in their hands.
Ben’s confidence started within himself. He had to appreciate his own abilities and believe wholeheartedly that he was capable of winning. All the practice, mental reps of this moment, and hard work brought Ben Roethlisberger confidence when he needed it most.
Confidence is the key character trait that communicates that you have developed the grit and resolve to help your client win. Exude it, and you’ll literally see your client’s shoulders relax as they exhale a sigh of relief. Your clients want this relief. They live in a fast-paced world with even faster growing expectations. I’m rooting for you to be their hero. The world needs your confidence. The world needs all of us to quarterback the sale in our respective industries. When we do, we will see the compounding impact.
Too many salespeople “fake it until they make it.” What this really means is that they don’t invest time into practicing their craft and decide to practice on their clients instead. Your clients deserve better. They deserve the confidence produced by experience.
Here are two of the biggest things successful teams do to get the reps in before quarterbacking the sale for their clients.
#1. Yellow Pages.
Don’t fake it—just pick up the phone and try to get them to buy what you have to sell. The success rate in this practice is very low. If they make even one sale off the yellow pages, that is a success. But after making a 1,000 calls, the confidence in their pitch and their offering grows, and they are ready to be set loose on the world.
#2. Role Play.
Every morning do some role play sales calls. Do it for 15 to 20 minutes before calling prospects. Throw objections at one another and respond to potential scenarios you will encounter throughout the day. By the time you hop onto our first call for the day, you already had several challenging “virtual” calls, so you are prepared for whatever may come on the other end of the line.
When you exude confidence when dealing with your client and tell them, “I got this,” you take the stress and anxiety off their shoulders that often comes with purchasing your product or service. Confidence doesn’t just come overnight. It is developed over time through reps. We each have the ability to speed up the development of our confidence by increasing the reps we do. As Peyton Manning and every great quarterback does, practice every aspect of your game off the field, so when you get on the field, you can confidently march your client into the end zone. Your client’s anxieties and fears will be replaced by peace and joy, complements of your hard work and its resulting confidence.
P.S. This is an excerpt from my book, Quarterback The Sale. If you haven’t grabbed a copy yet, I’m currently giving away two of these books for the price of one! Head over to my website and grab your copies today!