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How to Achieve Sales Skill #1: Self-Confidence

Selling can a tough job, but it's impossible when you lack self-confidence. That lack always comes from a set of negative beliefs that leverage failure to create more failure. This post explains how to break out of the cycle by exchanging negative beliefs for positive ones, thereby creating the self-confidence that will keep you in the game.

A Sales Machine reader writes:

I'm a recent college graduate who landed a job in advertising sales. I haven't been trained much and I'm losing confidence with where to go. I understand that sales is about relationship building but I can't even get an appointment in the door to show my personality. I'm lost.... and I'm not sure where to go.
I took over from an ad exec who had 12+ years with her clients, but most of them left when she left. I'm trying to get win-backs from these clients but it hasn't been working as well. I can't get a call back and the presentations I've given have fallen flat. I call back a few days to field any questions and I'm blown off or ignored. I don't get any leads through my own cold calling and prospecting.
I'm not sure what I'm doing right or wrong cause being new to sales has been a baptism by fire. Is there any advice or any programs you might suggest that will help me out?
Your predecessor's clients trusted your predecessor and believed that she could add value to their businesses. They don't yet believe that about you, partly because you're young, partly because you're unknown, but mostly because you lack self-confidence.

Your insecurity comes through very clearly in your emails, particularly in phrases like "baptism by fire." You're spooked by your lack of success, and that's spooking the people who otherwise might give you an opening.

You need to shake off the mental miasma that you've let settle into your brain. The source of that negativity are the beliefs that you have about yourself and about selling. I am now going to explain exactly how to change those beliefs, which will create a corresponding change in your ability to feel self-confident. Here's who.

STEP #1: Write down your current beliefs about yourself, selling, your ability to sell and your current situation. I'll get you started:

  • "I am not sure what I'm doing right or wrong."
  • "Being new to television media sales is a disadvantage."
  • "This experience is a baptism by fire."
STEP #2: Once you've written these out, get yourself in a positive state by thinking about the successes you've had in your life. Relive them in your mind as vividly as you can. Make them widescreen and in color. Feel those moments in your body, in the way you breath, in the words you say to yourself. Move your body dramatically! Smile. Get stoked.

STEP #3: Sit down and IMMEDIATELY rewrite every one of those beliefs so that they express true self-confidence. This will be easy because you'll be in a powerful state of mind and body. Here's an example of what you might write:

  • "I am a fast learner and will figure out how to make this work."
  • "Being new means that I bring fresh ideas and a fresh perspective."
  • "This experience is the ultimate thrill ride."
When you've done this, I want you to make copies of your new beliefs and plaster them everywhere that you can -- on your screen saver, on your mirror at home, over your bed, in your car. Yeah, people will think you're weird, maybe. Screw 'em. This stuff really works.

I guarantee that you will almost IMMEDIATELY find that you're getting more callbacks and a better response to your sales efforts.

BTW: I learned the above process nearly 20 years ago from Tony Robbins. It has literally and massively changed my life.


NOTE: Similar tips and techniques are contained in my soon-to-be-published book How to Say It: Business to Business Selling, now available for pre-sale here.
    All pre-sale royalties are donated to Wide Horizons for Children, an organization that facilitates foreign adoptions and orphanages.
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