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Practice Management > Compensation and Fees

Confidence: A confession

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Last week, I wrote a post outlining the importance of displaying a confident demeanor when dealing with prospects, especially senior executives. I used the example of a car dealership service advisor. After writing the post, I remembered a situation in which I had displayed a similar type of timid behavior.

Eight years ago, I was meeting with some prospects to discuss a sales training project. We talked about their goals and objectives and what type of program would work best for them. Eventually, the prospects asked, “How much will this cost?” I started to reply, but the words got caught in my throat.

You see, until this point, I had conduced all price discussions with prospects via telephone or email. This was my first face-to-face discussion about the subject. To add to my timidity, I had just increased my fees. As I went to answer, a little voice in my head screamed “You can’t charge that much!!”

I started to freak out and wonder how I could deal with the situation without looking like a wimp — or worse — an idiot. So, I wrote the fee on a sheet of paper and slid it across the table. My prospects looked at each other, nodded and said, “Sounds good. Let’s get going.” Right then and there, I made a commitment to never again allow my confidence to wane.

Confidence is a funny thing. We need it to survive — especially in sales. The most successful salespeople tend to be very confident. However, even top performers can lack confidence from time to time.

Here’s an effective strategy to prevent confidence from escaping you when you most need it. The next time you need your confidence to be at its highest, preview the situation in your mind beforehand. If necessary, rehearse what you need to say so that your brain, mouth and ears can practice working together.

This approach can help you maintain your confidence when you need it most so that you can avoid coming across as a sales wimp.

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