What 2 Salesmen Taught Me About Confidence

This is Hubble.

She’s a fast-driving, corner-turning, hybrid beauty, and the newest member of this Tiny, Happy Empire.

I met her on Saturday morning, and by Saturday afternoon she came to live with me. But I wouldn’t consider it a snap decision.

You see, back in November I began test driving cars, and I fell in love with the Subaru Crosstrek XV. (And no, they didn’t pay me to write that!) I test drove one alongside a car salesman. Let’s call him Robby. Robby was relatively new to the dealership, but he was not new to the art of selling. He owned a line of highly successful barber shops along the West Coast, and even held private contracts with some very big names. In short, he’d been a salesperson for quite some time and should have been brimming with confidence. But when it came to selling this car to me, he was visibly nervous. You could see it in the way he held his body, the manner in which he spoke and in the follow-up after. He started sentences with phrases like, “I think…” and “I’m pretty sure…” He fidgeted. He sat slumped over instead of upright in his seat. He had all of the answers to my questions, but he struggled when it came time to get the words out. And when I didn’t buy from him that day, he left voicemails and emails that began with, “I’m sorry to bother you…” and “I hope I didn’t screw this up too much.”

Robby didn’t make the sale, but he DID make me uncomfortable. Instead of me wanting to buy a car from him—the car that I genuinely loved!—I wanted to make him a cup of tea and send him to a therapist who could work out those self-esteem issues. I found myself consoling him on the phone while secretly fantasizing about shaking him soundly by the shoulders and demanding, “Pull yourself together, man!”

When it comes to your business, you’ve probably got a bit of Robby in you. You might not apologize for following up like he did (if you’re following up at all), but you might be cutting off discovery calls without making your pitch and ending them after a prospect gives you the smallest objections instead of firmly believing in what you offer. You might be cowering in the shadows wondering if you should post that blog instead of sharing your gifts freely with the world. You might be tripping over “um’s” and “maybe’s” when you talk about your business instead of owning your power. You might be wearing your soup-stained T-shirt and messy bedhead and refusing to turn the camera on during Skype calls instead of getting dressed in the morning and proudly letting yourself be seen.

People treat you the way you treat yourself. It’s as simple and as infuriating as that. If you hesitate, if you waver, if you fear, your prospects will hesitate and they will waver and they will fear over working with you. But if you are confident and if you trust and if you have faith in what you do, your prospects will be confident and they will trust and they will have faith in what you do too. 

So who did I buy this new gorgeous car from? The salesman who looked me in the eye when he spoke. The salesman who took the initiative to answer my questions before I even asked them. The salesman who smiled during our test drive and who held my hand throughout the buying process instead of me having to hold his. The salesman who knew that this was the car for me and that my life would be better with Hubble in it, and who refused to let me walk away and sacrifice my own happiness even though spending big bucks on a car was scary. The salesman who believed so much in this that I had to as well. He went home with the commission and the glowing review and the perfect survey feedback.

So, which kind of salesperson do YOU want to be?

Go bravely,
Lauren Vanessa Zink

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