I’ve probably said this before but I honestly can’t think of anyone that meets with more sales people than I do. I should do – it is pretty much what I do for a living!
Lucky me right? Listening to all the bullsh*t, bravado and bluster of a sales person attempting to sell their most valuable product… themselves. Tales of massive deals landed, targets smashed and big bonus payments. Well, that at least seems to be the perception of many of my friends and people in my network – at least those who are not in sales.
The reality is somewhat different. Many salespeople aren’t actually that great at selling themselves; at least not any better than people who are not sales in sales. The funny thing is that most sales people would say that to be effective in their role they really need to believe in the product or service they are selling. So where does that leave us…?
Does this mean that underneath the façade of confidence that in fact many of us sales professionals are plagued with self-doubt? If so, is it really any surprise? Let’s face it, dealing with rejection day after day is enough to damage anyone’s confidence. And regardless of what any of the text books say, many of us just can’t help but take rejection personally – we are only human after all.
The point here is that I am seeing a lot of sales people who are lacking in the level of deep-rooted self-confidence required to really fly in terms of their sales success and career. If this is you, you need to acknowledge it, and you need to tackle it… head on.
As for the ‘how’, well I’m not a self-help guy or coach so I’m not really in a position to prescribe solutions. For me though, when I was going through a challenging period professionally, three or four years back, I sought out (an extremely good) Coach, who helped me to identify the factors that were holding me back and then worked with me on an action plan, and held me accountable to ensure I delivered on it. For me at least, it worked.
What does everyone else think? Have you suffered from a loss of confidence at any point and what did you do about it?