I don't know about you, but my career has been fraught with moments where I lacked sales confidence. When I first started selling, I'd sometimes sit in my car for a half hour before I'd force myself to get out. Other times, the sales anxiety I'd feel literally made me sick to my stomach before a big meeting.
Believe it or not, the only thing that enabled me to face my customers with confidence was a silly song that I sang to myself -- over and over. Sounds pathetic, doesn't it?
But wait! Now there's research that shows I wasn't crazy.
First, a bit about that song and what it did for me. It was "I Whistle a Happy Tune" from a musical, The King & I. My mom used to sing it all the time. You can listen to it here.
Here's the deal. When I sang it, these lyrics and the upbeat melody got me to change my posture so I "resembled" a confident person - even though I wasn't. In short, I faked confidence.
Whenever I feel afraid,
I hold my head erect
And whistle a happy tune so no one will suspect, I'm afraid.
While shivering in my shoes,
I strike a careless pose
And whistle a happy tune , and no one ever knows I'm afraid.
The result of this deception
is very strange to tell
For when I fool the people I fear, I fool myself as well!
HBR research now shows that changing your posture to "power poses" for 2+ minutes leads to "greater feelings of power and confidence, with higher levels of the dominance hormone and lower levels of the stress hormone."
It really works! When you bring an aura of confidence into a sales meeting, your prospects react to you differently. And, this positive reaction actually boosts your confidence even more.
Think about this the next time you go into an important meeting. Change your posture -- and everything changes. Go ahead, fake it!