5 fast and easy “non-sales” things to develop authenticity, increase confidence, and sell more deals
Customers want to feel at ease during sales conversations.
They want to trust us.
But show up to meetings uncertain, shaky, or timid, they run for their next one.
It’s tough out here. Meeting strangers every day to ask them for hundreds of thousands of dollars moments later… It’s a wild profession.
But it’s your profession.
And because you’re livelihood depends on closing deals, you need to show confidence while you work. You also can’t be too confident, else risk turning off customers. It’s a slippery slope!
The through-line lies in authenticity.
Authenticity provides balanced confidence that makes prospects feel warm, connected, and open.
So how do you strike such a balance? What creates authenticity?
It’s not refining your pitch, memorizing the “top 10 qualifying questions of all time”, or rigorously training your rapport-building skills. Those things are great, but a holistic approach proves much more effective.
Don’t worry. A little goes a long way. Here are five fast AND easy “non-sales” things you can do to be a more confident sales professional.
Ask someone out
I don’t mean go to the bar and hit on everyone you see (although that may build some helpful rejection muscles).
Instead, text a plutonic acquaintance to meet for coffee. When you meet someone interesting at an event, dinner, or friend’s place, get his number and schedule some time to connect one on one.
You meet plenty of people during your everyday living. But how often do you ask one of them to lunch or to follow up on a Zoom?
As a sales professional, you’re asking for time all the time.
But the stakes are high when money and opportunity are on the line. Practice when the stakes aren’t so high.
And when you do connect, be curious. You don’t need anything from this person. If anything, you stand to help him. Just lending a friendly ear provides plenty of value.
Being curious, helping others, listening… not bad sales skills to practice, right?
I ramped up these random dates two years ago and haven’t stopped.
Any time I feel the slightest interest in someone, I ask him out. I’ve learned a ton and formed strong, surprising friendships along the way. Each time I do, I carry a little more confidence into my sales activities.
You can too.
Brain dump up to three pages before morning coffee
In 2019, I reconnected with a buddy named Greg, who was running a software development business at the time.
During our meetup, he introduced me to a journaling practice called Morning Pages.
This super simple ritual comes from a classic book by Julia Cameron called The Artist’s Way and it’s the single most impactful practice to teasing out your authentic, confident self.
As soon as you wake up, pull out a notebook and start scribbling out whatever is on your mind.
Julia recommends three, unprompted pages to sweep “all the corners of your consciousness”.
When I write, I picture myself venting to Julia herself. I get all the thoughts, fears, regrets, and any other clutter out of my head. It makes room for fresh, creative thinking. My authentic self rises to top of mind.
It activates my creative muscles first thing in the morning.
And when I get to selling, it is that creative energy that attracts customers. They trust the confidence that comes with it.
Take a walk outside
Your schedule gets packed with meetings.
Zoom calls, Slack messages, emails, and prospecting software all suck up your energy, too. It feels like your whole world sits inside your computer screen.
Spend 10 minutes reminding yourself that it doesn’t.
Walking outside drastically improves your day and how you show up for it.
Like Morning Pages, physical exertion can shake loose creative energy. Whenever I’m stuck on a project or nudging against some writer’s block, I head outside and within minutes, relief arrives.
If you can spring into a full-blown jog, all the better. But do not underestimate the power of even a short walk outside.
The break from screen time, the fresh air landing in your lungs, the immensity of the outside world all pull little bits of confidence to the surface.
Read one chapter of non-fiction
What if you could bring Ryan Holiday to your next sales meeting?
Or tag Greg Mckeown for your next cold call?
What if Michael Singer sat by your side the next time a customer said “we’re going with another vendor”?
Reading allows you to transcend time, distance, education, and perspective. Holiday calls reading books “the greatest shortcut for leaders”.
It’s the shortcut for sales confidence, too.
And it doesn’t take much. Read just one chapter per day and you bank at least thirty books per year. That is plenty reinforcement for adding confidence to your sales activities.
Every word serves as a reminder you’re not alone. You’re borrowing wisdom.
The combination you read unveils your beautiful one-of-a-kind authenticity.
You pick the ingredients to pour into your consciousness. You share your master recipe with partners, peers, and prospects. And it all costs you just twenty minutes a day.
Listen to a guided meditation
Meditation suddenly seems en vogue.
Almost daily I hear about how it relieves stress or makes you calmer. But what I’ve learned proves much more practical.
Meditation gives me the ability to objectively analyze my thoughts.
When I feel insecure, I recognize it. It’s not just something I feel but something I can choose to respond to or not.
Analyzing such perceptions may be the most important thing I do each day. After all, if I want to be a more confident sales professional, I better have a way to understand what that looks like from the inside out.
Everyone struggles to commit to daily meditation practice. Make it easy by subscribing to a short, guided version.
I use Sam Harris’ Waking Up. Sam is a wonderful companion to my morning routine. His instructions are pointed, clear, and effective.
Use whatever resource works for you. The key is to get started and do your best to stick with it.
The value of practicing just 10 minutes per day compared to not at all, can’t be overstated.
You build resiliency, compassion, and clarity into your mind. These traits allow you to ride the ebbs and flows of your sales life smoothly.
Your confidence shines during your challenging moments, not your most opportune.
What do you think? I’d love to hear.
I help software sales professionals sell (and live) with intention. When you embrace practice, develop awareness, and align your efforts, you can rise above the deal.
You can live #quotaless