Are you a retail salesperson struggling to make your goals? Or a manager who’s having a hard time training employees to sell with confidence?
Whether you’re a newbie or have been in retail for years, a lack of self-confidence will hold back your success.
This post is for anyone looking to sell more. No matter what product you sell, and no matter who your customers are, these confidence-boosting tips will help you get results.
Eight ways to boost your confidence in selling a product -- and yourself
Successful salespeople know that selling isn’t just about the product -- it’s about you. Here’s how you can grow your self-confidence and, in turn, earn your customers’ trust so they’re more likely to buy.
1. Talk positively to - and about - yourself
Do you put yourself down because you work retail? Customers and your boss will pick up on this. Associate the good things in your life with having this job in retail, and smile because you have a job in a nice store. There are a lot worse jobs -- be grateful.
Do you hear voices in your head that say, “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all,” or do you tell yourself, “I never win”?
Stop it! It’s that simple. Notice when you hear negative messages and nip it in the bud. You can choose just as easily to say, “I can be lucky,” or, “Good things are happening right now.”
Monitoring self-talk is the best way to improve your retail confidence. You have to believe in yourself before anyone else will.
2. Nix trash talk
Do you talk about your job, your boss, and your customers like they are one step away from Satan? People with low self-esteem usually trash talk to others to feel better about themselves. Stop it! Customers and co-workers can pick up on that -- and not want to help you or talk to you. Stop trash-talking and they’ll turn around.
3. Dress appropriately
Regardless of your store's dress code, do you give much care to the way you dress? Is it appropriate for working with a diverse group of customers?
On one hand, just because your employer has a relaxed dress code, it doesn’t mean you can jump out of bed, pull on a pair of sweatpants that have Juicy written across the butt - and haven’t been washed in a week - and pair it with a shirt that’s been on the floor.
Or if your employer requires you to wear a uniform, don’t ball it into your backpack and slip it on five minutes before your shift.
On the other hand, dressing to the nines with extreme makeup, a fancy cocktail dress, or a three-piece suit will make you stand out from everyone else on your sales floor -- but not in a good way.
Always take a shower, do your hair, brush your teeth and select clothing that is at least one step up from others working in your department. Even if you aren't feeling particularly confident yet, don't give in and dress the way you feel at that moment.
Consciously choosing clothing that makes you feel good about yourself can, in turn, help you sell with confidence. You want to attract people to you, not repel or have them judge you.
4. Speak up
Whether you are a shy, amiable personality or a wannabe Broadway belter, you need to match the volume of your voice to your surroundings. Salespeople who struggle to sell with confidence speak almost apologetically, which requires the listener to strain and ask them to repeat themselves, which no one wants to do.
Want to check your volume? Place your smartphone on a table 3-4 feet away from you and set it to record. Speak a few lines in your normal volume. Check and see how loud you are. Bonus if you add some music in the background like most stores have.
5. Learn to smile
Most of us think we smile a lot, but might your customers see you as more of a frowner? People who smile are perceived as more confident. Have you ever wondered why the same actors and actresses get the best parts? They know how to smile.
Videoing yourself during a sale is a great way to check your own smile factor. You can also check yourself as you walk by a mirror.
6. Collect good times
Every time you make a sale, review why it worked so well. Did you make them laugh? Did they make you laugh? Did you upsell them? Did they trust what you said for some reason? Reviewing what you did when things went well reinforces that you, as a salesperson, already know what you’re doing.
7. Ask for a raise
If you are breaking goals and you are an asset to the company, ask for a raise. You may not get it, but telling your boss the reasons you are worthy will give your ego a boost. If you don’t get it this time, ask what it will take to change the answer the next time you ask.
8. Cultivate a feeling of gratitude
That means finding something every day to be grateful for. It could be a relationship you are in, a special purchase you just made, or even that you had the best club sandwich for lunch.
Being grateful fills your heart from inside so you don't have to try to fill it from the outside. That makes the inevitable personal slights from others and rejection on the retail sales floor have less power over the way you feel about yourself.