By Ryan Sauers As I have been giving recent speeches, I have opened my remarks with the following statement. I ask the audience to reflect upon two words that are not that different in appearance, but quite different in meaning. The two words are UNTIE and UNITE. You see, the two words are comprised of the exact same letters. The only change is switching the place of the letter “T” and “I. What does this mean? When “T” is in front of “I” we get the words UNTIE which means things are coming apart or undone. It means …
Yes,you read the question correctly.
Would you buy from you?
At first, you may be thinking—duh, Sauers—of course I would. However, it is amazing how when I drill in on this subject while training, salespeople and owners alike begin to say something like “well, uh, ummm, huh, yeah, I guess.” Really? If you would not buy from yourself, then why would anyone else want to buy from you?
I have an example of the confidence, not cockiness, it takes to be successful in sales. Take a cornerback in football. (Note: to those who do not follow football, this is not the quarterback). The cornerback, like a salesperson, is an island on to themselves. This means it is a lonely position. A cornerback sometimes makes a big interception and other times gets beaten on a big play. It is easy for the spectators to see both the successes and failures. They are quite visible.
For a cornerback to shake such things off they must have what experts call “athletic arrogance.” What does this mean? It’s an unshakable confidence that they are the best at what they do—even when they have a short-term failure or bad game. This also means that when they have a great game, they do not get “cocky,” instead feeling they were simply living up to their potential and doing their job.
Salespersons are the same, and everyone is watching.
Sometimes you make a huge sale or are able to set up a ton of qualified appointments. Other times, you are told no, leave, go away and more. So, what type of confidence does this require? It requires a salesperson to have the same type of “athletic arrogance.” Yes, I know you’re not playing football, but what I am after is the mindset that is required.
Can you shake things off and bring your top game day after day? When you have great success, can you avoid becoming complacent? Can you always outwork and out-think your competition? By the way, that is virtually everyone these days.
Assume, you could call yourself and leave a voice-mail message; would you call yourself back? Please be honest. Also, think of whether you view yourself as a valued partner and resource, or as a “sales rep” (vendor) and thus a transactional order taker? Do you have the confidence that lets buyers know your time is valuable and, if they do not meet with you, they will be missing out? Again, I stress confidence not cockiness.
So, would you buy from you? Check out my new Book coming soon! Just on this subject!