Consistent sales success is a must for any business. Making the statement is easy – putting that plan into action is the hard part. That’s where TRACKFARE comes into play. Over the coming weeks we’ll discuss how optimising and improving your business with our fine-tuned method gives you the foundations you need to give you profit, productive sales techniques and above all, prospects.
TRACKFARE cuts through all the waffle-y words and marketing fluff, and gets straight the point of what your business needs. An easy to implement, clear method to build up your business to be a long-term success. The first step in a three-part model system designed to enhance your business practices, TRACKFARE explores 9 core foundations that you need to utilise to improve your business; bringing in more prospects, converting them to fantastic leads and ultimately increasing existing customer satisfaction.
We’re almost half the way through the TRACKFARE method, with Trustworthiness, Reliability and Approachability behind us. This week we’ll be looking at the letter ‘C’ – which in this case stands for confidence, a worthwhile mind set in any walk of life; whether you’re looking to impress new prospects, get ahead in your job or just project your personality in everyday situations.
Being confident is a key ingredient in the TRACKFARE recipe, and will serve you well no matter what situation you find yourself in. Confidence can take many guises, whether it’s having an assured knowledge of your products, a welcoming smile or just a positive way of thinking. All these behaviours add together to help you gain more prospects and show off exactly what you and your product or service can help them achieve.
What can confidence do for my business?
Without confidence in your services, ability to sell and your products, you aren’t likely to find yourself a profitable business anytime soon. Prospects rely on your behaviour, expertise and knowledge in their decision-making process; after all, you’re the expert on what you’re selling, and they should know that. ‘Might’s and ‘Should’s are nowhere near as efficient and impactful as ‘Will’s and ‘Can’s when it comes to selling your products.
Confidence sets you apart from your competition, and perceptive prospects will be more likely to react positively to someone with a confident stance, attentive manner and valuable insight than someone who takes the bare minimum of effort when it comes to their lead generation approach.
Of course, there’s such a thing as too much confidence – there’s a big difference between showing your prospects how much you know, assuring them how much you help your business, and telling them what they should do. Prospects and customers alike don’t take kindly to cocky sales techniques; it’s important to find a right balance between too vague and too direct when it comes to your prospect’s perception of you and your brand.
Don’t assume your prospects know nothing, but there’s nothing wrong with letting them consider you an expert in your field. And of course, make sure you can back up any positive statements you choose to state; or you could be left with egg on your face!
Look the Part
A large part of confidence is outside perception. Slouching, refusing to make eye contact and a belligerent expression are all good ways to scare off prospects! A lack of knowledge about your products or services or a lack of interest in what you sell is also going to send your potential customers running for the hills.
There are several ways to improve your outward confidence, and even if you’re not feeling it on the inside from the outset, over time it will become second nature.
The first thing you should remember to do is one of the easiest: smile. A genuinely positive attitude and engaging smile is a great way to start a conversation and break the ice. When you’re working with prospects over the phone, it might be easy to let your expression drop, but you’d be surprised how much your voice changes depending on whether you’re smiling, frowning or zoning out.
For face-to-face appointments and lead generation, at events or networking days, being able to maintain eye contact with the person you’re talking to is important. Show you’re engaged in the conversation and interested in what your prospects have to say with an enthusiastic expression and responses to what they’re saying. Try to keep your eye contact natural – nothing unnerves a potential customer faster than you staring directly into their eyes for long periods of time without blinking!
It might sound obvious, but a good posture also gives the impression of confidence. Don’t slouch or lean; stand upright, shoulders back, head up and torso open. Be animated when you talk; make strong gestures that solidify your point and remind engaged and involved.
According to a study by Mehrabian in 1971, the results of which are still considered relevant and accurate today, 55% of communication is body language. That means over half of the way your prospects perceive you is based on your physical behaviour, rather than what you say. An important fact to remember when it comes to face to face communications and meetings.
When you’re feeling nervous about an upcoming meeting, event or casual chat, take the time to stand in front of the mirror in your power pose. Though it may feel silly, taking a classic ‘superman’ pose for a minute – chest out, shoulder back, head proud – can give you a little boost in your confidence, and put things into perspective (if only because you’re trying not to laugh at yourself in the mirror!).
Know your Stuff
Now you know all about how to appear confident from a distance, let’s have a look at how you can translate that perception into communication. If you can’t follow up your confident statements, interested smile and intelligent comments with good solid facts, you’re not likely to keep hold of your prospects beyond the initial introductions.
When it comes to the selling and marketing of services and products, knowledge is power. Know your services, what you can offer your prospects and why they should choose your business above others. Just knowing what your product does isn’t enough; you should be aware of the advantages it can offer your prospect, and you should be able to tailor your responses and recommendations to match their requirements
Being able to provide good, solid advice and a good insight into your industry is an excellent way to get your expertise ingrained in the minds of your prospects. If you’re their go-to for the latest information, developments and services in the industry, it gives you a significant advantage over your competitors from the off. According to a survey by Wranx, sales employees with strong brand expertise sell 87% more than peers without; showing just how important a high level of knowledge is to your prospects and customers.
Communicate your Confidence
We’ve already looked at how important your physical appearance is to how your prospects see you, but it’s also essential that you back that body language up with the words that come out of your mouth. Be sure to be positive in the way you talk, welcoming open and active communication.
It’s not just about what you say; it’s how you say it too. Speak with a clear, concise voice – don’t mumble or mutter. Be authoritative on the subjects you know the most about, and project that confidence into your voice and your mannerisms. Prospects will be more inclined to listen to you if you follow all these points.
Sarah Landrum, writing for Fast Company, suggests that you should use statements, rather than questions when trying to project confidence. Equally, it’s important to be to the point with what you’re saying and to pause to allow critical points and information to sink in. All valuable points, and useful in many business situations.
If there’s a subject, situation or person you’re particularly nervous around, ask yourself why. An understanding of the things that make you less confident gives you the opportunity to combat that feeling with common sense and positive thoughts, knowledgeable conversation and engaging body language.
Get out of that Comfort Zone
It might be a daunting idea, but getting out of your comfort zone will set you on the path to confidence, even if you do have to fake it to make it! Without reaching further out of your cosy, well-used behaviours and techniques, you’ll never find out what else is out there; giving your business less chance to grow and generate leads across the board.
Pushing yourself to act outside of your comfort zone widens your scope for prospects and gives you even more knowledge. Having confidence in your abilities across a wider area of products or services is never a bad thing for your business, and if you can push yourself on one thing, you can push yourself on more. Challenge yourself to get past your self-imposed boundaries whenever you can, and you’ll find the confidence setting up shop all on its own.
We’re not saying you should push yourself beyond your comfortable limits, but according to a little bit of stress can often help you to perform at your peak – as long as you’re able to handle it. According to John Gardner, fear of failure holds us back and stops us reaching our full potential – whether that’s in lead generation, relationships or life in general.
Try pushing yourself a little bit further every day – we’re sure you’ll be surprised by the results
Want to find out more?
Now we’ve got you standing in your power pose; we hope you’re feeling the confidence flow through you! If you’re not quite there yet just follow the adage; try, try, and try again. With some practice and a bit of an internal talking-to, you’ll boost your confidence in no time – and your prospects will see it too.
With just five more letters to go in the TRACKFARE method, we hope you’re keeping up! Keep your eyes peeled for next week’s post, which will go into depth about why being knowledgeable is an essential element to any business in any industry. After all, without knowledge of your services or products, you’ll have no facts to be confident about!
Can’t wait a whole week for more? If you want to give TRACKFARE a go, we’ve launched a video series covering all eight steps of the model; including invaluable strategies and innovative methods to further develop your prospects and bring you even more profit. There are over 3 hours of content included, stuffed full of tips and tricks to get your business on ‘TRACK’ (get it?). As we always like to remind you, TRACKFARE is what you need to increase your prospects – we’ll help you make sure you’re giving the right message, give you the correct mind set and give your profits a boost in the long term.
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