Jill Konrath


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Do This to Build Sales Confidence Before a Meeting


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!

YOUR TURN: What do you do to boost sales confidence before a meeting?Fake it

Jill KonrathJill Konrath is an internationally recognized sales strategist. As author of two bestselling books, SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies, she's a frequent speaker at sales meetings and conferences. For more fresh ideas, download her free Prospecting Toolkit.


I'm reminded of Madonna, in her Vogueing period: 
"Strike a pose." 
Maybe she was on to something, channeling early sales training! 
Regardless, it makes a lot of sense. The mind-body connection is so much stronger than we tend to think these days. In some respects, we can indeed act our way into right thinking, and this seems like a really powerful, and useful, example.  
Thanks for sharing.
Posted @ Tuesday, June 19, 2012 12:30 PM by Charles H. Green
Practice, practice, practice and then practice some more.
Posted @ Tuesday, June 19, 2012 3:19 PM by Greg
OMG, Jill, I also sing Whistle A Happy Tune as well as When You Wish Upon A Star. Then there's always the line from Finding Nemo - just keep swimming, just keep swimming. Good to know a) I'm not alone and b) I'm not insane (or at least I'm in good company.)
Posted @ Wednesday, June 20, 2012 5:28 PM by Babette Ten Haken
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