The most successful sales professionals harbor a unique combination of two powerful traits: boldness and humility. These traits are often considered opposite, and expected to be found in two different personalities. On contrast, humility and boldness make the most effective sales combination. Sharpen your ability to be bold in your approach and humble in your interaction. This alone can create a dynamic force for action.
The art of balancing boldness and humility comes from practice and an understanding of the application. Review these 12 how-to’s for executing the perfect balance.
- Bold objections. An objection from a potential customer can often be foreseen; be it budgets, personnel, or drastic change. Don’t fear the topic, instead tackle it head-on.
- Humble listening. Learn, understand, and gain information by actively listening. Avoid interrupting and focus on both what is being said and what is not said. This customer-centered focus gives more credibility to discussion.
- Bold introductions. Be unafraid to make a cold approach. Know what to say and how to say it. This can quickly direct the conversation to sales.
- Humble questions. Switch assertive gears and ask impact questions, share stories and brainstorm without offering solutions. A short question would be followed by long listening.
- Bold feedback. Offer direct feedback on conference calls or presentations. Maintain a confident approach and know how to get things done.
- Humble understanding. Display a sympathetic acknowledgement of shortcomings; this can help alleviate an otherwise awkward moment when offering feedback.
- Bold request. Ask for someone’s business. Too often the actual move to action is implied or skirted around. Come right out and ask.
- Humble request. Customers want to know they are wanted and that their business is specifically important.
- Bold passion. Love the product or service that you’re selling, and let your passion permeate every discussion and decision.
- Humble understanding. Know the limits of your product or service. It cannot be the solution for everyone, so have a solid understanding of when it would not be beneficial. Stand ready to admit the limits.
- Bold research. Seek to understand the customer’s business operation and industry. Become familiar with their struggles and successes.
- Humble limitations. Quickly admit that the customer will know far more about their business. Preface research with “perhaps” or “approximately”, so it is clear you looked into it but are no expert.
Humility will make you more credible and more believable, gaining the trust of customers and potential customers. Likewise, boldness will portray a silent confidence which is reassuring. The matched combination is the most successful combination for sales.