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Confidence for Sale

No matter what you do for a living—you’re in
sales. We’re all in sales—all the time. Everything
is a sales pitch. When you give your opinion on a
conference call, you’re selling an idea. When you
negotiate breakfast options with your kids, you’re
selling a product. Heck, when
you update Twitter you’re
selling yourself.

Growing your business is a
constant sales pitch. You have
to seem larger and more experienced
than you are. You have
to take jobs that will stretch
and force your company to
grow. You have to stick your
neck out. You have to say “sure
we can do that” first and then
check with the powers that be
to make sure that you can.

Selling yourself is the exact
same game. What’s for sale is
YOU. If you want someone to take
a leap of faith on you, you must act
larger, more passionate and more experienced
than you feel. And it’s not easy to do. Most of us feel
awkward when we put ourselves out there.

You know exactly what I’m talking about. When you stick
your neck out (and they say yes), you’re afraid they will fi nd
out that you’re really not all that you claim to be. That anxious
feeling is the psychological hot button of sales. It’s there and
always will be. And just like that gene that made you lactose
intolerant, it’s not going anywhere. So you have to learn how
to deal with it.


“In this
economy,
what people
want most
from you is
confidence.”

I’m feeling it right now. I’m up for a big television gig. It is
way outside my comfort zone. Sure, I’m a CNBC contributor
and I host a syndicated radio show, but this job is with a major
TV network—as a host. I’ve never actually hosted a major
television show. And that’s where I feel like a fraud when I say,
“Take a leap of faith! Pick Me!”

Do I think I can do it? You bet I do.
I
think I’d knock it out of the park. But
I’ve got to sell myself first and deal
with the fraud factor later. I can’t walk
into the casting
and say, “Just so we’re all clear, I’ve
never really done this before, and I have my doubts, and I just
wanted to share my insecurities with you in case I don’t measure
up once you pick me.” And neither can you.

They are hiring me for my confidence. So I’ve got to promise
that I can do something before I know that I can.

And in this economy, what people want most from you is
confidence. It’s easy to lack confidence right now.

You are probably busy telling yourself, “No one is buying
in this economy.” You may even be worried about your
company’s viability or your own job security. This makes
selling even tougher. The anxiousness that comes with selling
in an economy like this is simply that same old fraud factor
at work. You will always feel awkward when you are uncertain
about how things will turn
out. Always.

The first step to selling yourself—
to selling confidence—is
recognizing that the pit in your
stomach isn’t the economy. It’s
the fear of putting yourself out
there. It just so happens you
are putting yourself out there at
a time when the economy isn’t
doing so great.

The truth is, people are buying
in this economy. They are buying products, services and solutions.
And they are buying from people with confidence.

So ditch the economy as your excuse. And pick up the
phone. You may feel awkward at first, but trust me. The person
on the other end of the line wants exactly what you’ve got: a
huge jolt of confidence.

Mel Robbins is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, CNBC
contributor, spokesperson for Microsoft and serial entrepreneur.

Read Mel’s weekly SUCCESS blog.

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