A client asked me recently how I would define confidence. I paused for a moment and replied, “Confidence is the inner knowing that you can achieve whatever you want.” What is your definition of confidence?
In my 20+ years of sales, I have found that at the core of everything is confidence. Call it a belief in yourself or whatever you want, there is no sense in creating a marketing plan without it. Confidence is not necessarily something you are born with, rather, like a muscle, it is developed over time with practice. This article will give you some key tips on how you can gain more confidence.
Tip 1: Focus on What You Want
Where do you put your focus most of the time? Here’s a hint: if you feel happy, grateful and hopeful, then you’re probably putting your attention on what you want. If you’re feeling discouraged, depressed or anxious, then you’re focusing on what you don’t want.
One of my clients today discussed her increasing feelings of anxiety as she was working with her clients in selling their house. When I asked her, “So what are you focusing on?” she admitted that she had been thinking about the possible failure of the transaction. When she changed her perspective and focused on the transaction closing, her feelings immediately changed into hope.
Here’s a tip: Whenever you find yourself focusing on what you don’t want, just ask yourself, “So, what do I want?” Most likely you’ll choose positive thoughts, images and feelings as you focus on your desired outcome. Not only will this brighten your mood and give you more confidence, but also, it will increase your chances of the deal closing.
Tip 2: Tame your Inner Gremlin
Have you ever noticed that there is a part of you that picks on you, beats you up, expects you to be perfect and is very hard on you if you make a mistake? That voice is called your Inner Gremlin, also known as your Inner Critic, or Inner Judge.
We all have one. The question is whether it’s running you or whether you are running it. Does it have power over you? Guess what? It only has the power that you give it. Stop listening to it and over time, it will be tamed.
So how do you tame it? Here’s a simple technique: When you notice that there is a voice in your head either putting you down, or berating you in any way, use a simple STOP technique. First, interrupt the pattern of thoughts by saying to yourself, STOP. Next, take a deep breath. Finally, use this opportunity to put in a positive new thought. For example, if your old thought was, “I don’t have what it takes to succeed”, stop it, breathe, and put in your new thought, “I have all the resources I need to succeed.”
Tip 3: Clear your Inner Conflicts
How do you know if you have an inner conflict? Most of my clients aren’t immediately aware of their inner conflicts but it becomes revealed through resistance. How many times have you told yourself “I need to get on the phone and call my sphere of influence”, and then you don’t do it?
That’s a typical example of how an inner conflict would be noticed. You’ll notice resistance to what you told yourself you should do. In this example, one part of you is saying, “Make the calls” and the other part of you is saying, “I don’t want to intrude. I don’t want them to think I am soliciting.” The reasons could go on and on.
Whenever you find yourself in resistance and you just can’t force yourself to do something no matter how hard you try, do a little introspection, and identify the voices in your head that are in conflict. Then assume the role of the mediator. Just as you mediate in your business between two or more people, do the same within yourself and find a solution that pleases both parts.
Tip 4: Create a Successful Future Self
Often when I work with a client who needs more confidence, I help them create a successful future self. They visualize what they are going to look like in the future, having accomplished their goals. Then they practice feeling what it feels like to be that future self. As they sink deeply into the feelings of accomplishment, contentment and confidence, they are creating a vision that inspires them.
You can be in business either pushing yourself to succeed, which creates “burn out” or you can allow yourself to be pulled towards success by a vision. Creating your future self is one way to have a vision. Perhaps you can picture your future self on a vacation, lying on the beach. Now, that’s inspiring.
Here’s a tip: to reinforce this idea of a successful future self, make a collage. Get several magazines and take out photos that inspire you. Photos that you’d like to see happen in your future.
See yourself having outlets for all that money that you’ll be making.
Tip 5: Only engage in interactions that are win/win
How many times have you gone into a situation with a prospective client while at the same time a voice in your head was saying something like, “Don’t do it. This doesn’t feel right”?
Here’s a tip—trust your hunches. If you have doubts about a client or a situation, most likely you’re right.
I’ve had dozens of clients who are recovering from burn out because they forgot to ask themselves, one thing, “Is this going to be a win/win?” According to Dr. Steven Covey, it’s either win/win or no deal. Next time your gut feelings are telling you to back out, listen to them. It’s better to back out in the beginning than to get involved in a situation where you can’t back out later.
Tip 6: Practice extreme self care and self maintenance
Think about it for a moment. What is your most valuable asset? Is it your home or your car? No, it’s your health. Yet I see so many people who try to be successful but then neglect their basic physical needs for rest, for sleep and for healthy foods.
Remember, you are your business. Your most important asset is you, your health and your personal production capacity. The healthier you are, the more energy you’ll have and the more you’ll produce. What are the areas you need to improve in self maintenance?
Dr. Steven Covey talks about “sharpening the saw”. He recommends taking an hour a day for making sure that your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs are met. Maybe taking an hour a day is beyond your reach at the moment. Then what small steps can you take to improve your energy level and vitality?
Tip 7: Know that what you have to offer is valuable
Effective marketing is based on the idea that you know your services are valuable and you are willing to communicate that in the marketplace on a consistent basis. So, how valuable are your services? What is your unique selling point? What do people get when they work with you that they can’t get anywhere else?
When someone asks you what you do, what do you say? Let me demonstrate a “so so” response compared to a response that will get someone’s attention. Suppose you’re a real estate agent and someone says, “So, what do you do?” A “so so” answer would be, “I am a real estate agent with_______________________ company. “ Compare that to this. Someone asks you what you do and you say, “Well, you know how people get stressed out when they are buying or selling a home? Well, I take care of all the details and make sure that the process goes smoothly so that my clients can relax. I am a real estate agent with _________________ company.” Which real estate agent would you like to work with?
Here’s a tip — This kind of answer will only work if you totally believe in yourself and know your services are valuable.
There are many aspects to becoming more successful. These seven powerful tips are just the beginning. Before you create your next marketing plan, check inside and take a reading of your confidence level. If it needs a boost be sure to take care of that before you do anything else. When you are overflowing with confidence, that’s the time to get out there and start marketing.