Believing in her product is the hallmark of a true salesperson. You will be amazed how many sales are lost because the salesperson did not believe in her product. So profound is belief, that it is the reason why people are conned into believing that they can have their money multiplied through prayer.

In belief there is contagion

Believing in one’s product is contagious. Prospects are infected by it and in many ways the onset of the sale starts here. Conversely, so too, the loss, if the belief is lacking. Selling is an emotional exercise camouflaged in logic. The prospect will state that they bought the pen because they needed it. Yet, most probably that was the third salesperson who engaged them. And on prodding they will admit that, “This third salesperson knew what he was talking about.” In other words, the logic of buying because I needed the pen was secondary. That the salesperson believed in what he was selling, was the primary reason that moved me to buy.

Human resource personnel are wont to failing a candidate, lamenting that, “He had an impressive CV but he did not believe in himself.” Again, the advert was full of objective logic i.e. must have a degree, 3 years experience, consistency in meeting targets etc. Yet despite being excited (emotion) at the prospect of meeting this candidate, what really carried the day was subjective (emotion). That is, his inability to exude belief in himself. Whole companies, having listened to a pitch by several consultants, will adjust their budget upwards to fit the one who, despite costing more, believed in himself.

Believing in your product

Believing in your product does not mean you would buy it

Believing in it does not necessarily mean you would buy it. It means that you implicitly trust that it will resolve the prospects need. The need for believing in ones product cannot be overstated. Believing in your product produces emotional contagion, infecting the prospect and making him less adversarial and open to new possibilities.

But how does belief manifest? It does so through an assurance of the prospects fears, a deep understanding of one’s product offering and how it solves the prospects need, and resolute confidence in what one is saying. That is the empowering (positive) belief. Disempowering belief leads the sales person to unabashedly state about his employer, “I don’t even know why they (whoever they is) sell the duvets in only blue and white.” Or, driven by self-righteousness, “This holiday home in Mombasa is unnecessarily expensive. Anyway, why have a holiday home? In fact, if I had Kes.100M I’d put it into apartments in Mlolongo and get a better return.” And just like that she finds herself faltering in her presentation. She finds herself subconsciously guiding the prospect who is seeking self-actualisation, to what she believes is right. That is, apartments in Mlolongo.

How do you know your mother is your mother?

In class, to demonstrate the gravity of belief I pick on a delegate and ask how they know that their mother is in fact their mother. Their jaw drops-of course she is! They even look insulted. “But how do you know that?” I prod. We look alike, I was told, she brought me up, etc, are some of the responses I get. I push further. “What if, one day you got summoned home by your mother and found her seated with another woman and your mother proceeded to inform you that this other woman is your true biological mother?” Torn between anger, denial and acceptance, agony does not begin to describe the look on the delegate’s face at this point. “The only reason why we know our mum is our mother is just that. Belief that she is.”

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