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Taking Action: Building and Restoring Confidence

Pausing briefly from our Sales Strategies Series, someone sent me this quote from Norman Vincent Peale quote recently:

Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.

— Norman Vincent Peale

Peale is best remembered as the author of “The Power of Positive Thinking.” I love this particular quote because it’s similar to the advice I give sales staff and recruiters who worry that they won’t be fully prepared before calling prospective clients.

While it’s true that we need to thoroughly prepare before beginning the sales process, over the years I’ve learned that some training can only be gained through on-the-job experience.  I remind sales people: “You can only make one mistake, and that is to not talk to anyone.”

I guarantee that prospective clients will ask questions you can’t answer. Instead of fearing the inevitable, develop the skills to capture their question and find an answer for them – whether on the spot or in a follow up call. You can learn important lessons on every call, even the ones that don’t result in a sale. You will win some and lose some during this time, but if you don’t talk to anyone, the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

As we continue the Sales Strategies Series, we’ll take a closer look at tools that can help sales teams improve their efficiency and prepare for these types of situations. In the meantime, I’d like to hear from you.  If you’re a sales person and recruiter reading this blog:

How do you know when to “jump” (initiate a sales call) even if you don’t feel completely prepared?

And what skills do you need to you make that jump?