There is a wide variety of tools available to enhance the sales process. To begin, there are physical tools, such as CRMs, document management platforms, or productivity tools. Alternatively, there are more expressive tools, like resilience and empathy that help practiced sellers persevere and understand their customers. Sometimes, though, the best selling tools are indirect or even counter-intuitive, for instance, imposter syndrome as discussed by Jeff Haden for Inc.com.
The best selling tools are sometimes feelings
Admittedly, it took me a while to get my mind around the concept of the imposter syndrome and how it's beneficial to sales. After all, successful sellers are expected to be authentic and forthcoming to instill trust. Well, according to Haden’s interpretation of the study, those who experience imposter syndrome instinctively shift attention toward others from a sense of humility. In doing so, the imposter is further rewarded with the perception that they have great interpersonal skills due to this other-focused attention. In truth, the imposter is not trying to be deceitful, they simply feel like they are being overestimated.
My personal imposter experience came as I assumed a new role which required much more technical expertise than I possessed. Though struggling, I was compelled to befriend others whose knowledge I desperately needed. In my effort to “fake it ‘til you make it,” I asked better questions and listened more. I came to empathize with my mentors' role and better understood their burdens. Consequently, several of my saviors became trusted advisors and we accomplished much more than the original parameters of the job. If pressed to list the best selling tools, I would say the imposter syndrome is a strong motivator for hard work and does not permit complacency on any level.
The positive side of imposter syndrome
Although imposter syndrome can be a psychological challenge it should not be dismissed. Potentially, it can have positive outcomes and become one of your best selling tools. Sometimes, a persistent feeling of inadequacy and the fear of being exposed makes one work harder.
Having to prove yourself with every new prospect can be exhausting. However, acquiring new skills, pursuing best practices and learning aspects of each new client’s business is a great way to become adaptable.
Strong work ethic:
Imposter syndrome can create a sense of urgency and motivate salespeople to work harder to compensate for their perceived deficiencies. They may be more likely to put in extra effort to prepare for meetings, research prospects, and refine their sales techniques. This heightened work ethic can result in increased productivity and better sales performance.
Empathy and customer focus:
Sellers experiencing imposter syndrome may have a heightened awareness of their customers' needs and concerns. Additionally, they may be more attuned to their clients' perspectives and strive to provide excellent customer service. This empathetic approach can help build trust and rapport, leading to stronger relationships and improved sales outcomes.
Humility and coachability:
Imposter syndrome can make salespeople more open to feedback and guidance. They are often willing to listen and learn from more experienced colleagues or mentors, recognizing that there is always room for growth. This humility and coachability can lead to continuous improvement and a more effective sales approach.
Authenticity and relatability:
Salespeople who experience imposter syndrome may have a genuine and relatable demeanor. They understand what it feels like to doubt one's abilities, which can create a sense of connection with prospects. By sharing their own struggles and vulnerabilities, they can build trust and credibility and establish stronger relationships, ultimately proving that this can be one of their best selling tools.
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