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Guiding Principle #7: Confidence Overcomes Most Shortcomings, Except An Ego
Confidence vs Ego
By John Barrows | August 16, 2017

There is a fine line between ego and confidence but a huge difference. You know ego when you see it and it tends to act as a repellent. Confidence on the other hand tends to draw people in like a magnet. As sales professionals we need to build and exude confidence while avoiding ego at all costs.

If you’ve followed my blog or been to my trainings you’ve heard me talk a lot about the science versus the art of Sales and how I fundamentally believe that Sales should be looked at as more of a science than an art. The science lays the foundation for the art to be that much more effective.  As a quick example, think about the meetings you go on where you are completely prepared and have done your homework versus the ones you go on completely unprepared. Which ones go better? Science versus art.

There are some components of confidence that are built by preparation and knowledge (science) while others are more of an attitude and mindset (art). Let’s talk about how the preparation builds the mindset. Product knowledge is obviously important in sales. When you know what your product does and can explain it to people in a clear and concise manner it gives you a certain amount of confidence. However, what I believe builds even more confidence is to understand the true difference your solution makes to the people who use it.  Here’s a recommendation, after you read the spec sheets on your solutions and memorize the details, read every single case study you can get your hands on. I would even recommend calling up an existing client and asking them “if someone were to ask you the difference our solution makes for you what would you tell them?” The product knowledge (science) will give you a baseline to work from, being able to connect the dots and tell the stories will take it to another level (art).

This approach leads to an even deeper level of confidence which happens when you genuinely believe in what you’re selling and the difference it makes for the right client.

My mentality when making cold calls is that I’m doing you a favor and it’s not in an arrogant way. I truly believe that I make a difference for the right client and for the wrong client I go away. Either way, there is a benefit to them which is why I never apologize for making that call.

When you believe and know the difference your solution makes for the right client it gives you a focus on who you should be going after and makes you far more efficient with your approach. You spend less time with clients who don’t fit and more time finding the ones that do. Eventually you build a lens that allows you to filter this quickly and have the confidence to either get in and out of conversations quickly when there isn’t a fit or dive in into the right ones when there is.  Also, when you truly believe in your solution you tend to discount a lot less. The less you believe in your solution the higher discount you tend to use to close deals.

Read your case studies, talk to your clients, and ask for informational interviews with some of the employees and leadership at your company who have been there for a while. Ask them all why they chose to work with your organization and what difference they see that your company and your solution makes. If you don’t get strong, positive answers then start looking for another company to work for that you can believe in. If you get strong, positive answers it should help drive you and your confidence to the next level so you can go out there and start making it rain for all the right reasons. Good luck and happy selling.

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