Experience + Confidence = Sold.

I recently dined in a restaurant where the waiter’s job was to sell me on the house specialty. It was one of those restaurants where the number of “specials” sold probably determined the employee of the month. If I were to bet on what I would have ordered, my money would have been on anything else BUT the special. I’m not a fan of the sales pitch. I’m a tough sell and I (usually) think I know what’s best for myself.

However, I would have been wrong. I ordered the special. Here’s why.

Experience draws attention, confidence draws a crowd, and the two together usually win. [Tweet This]

Experience Draws Attention

When you immediately think “He (she) knows what he’s talking about”, then he probably does. In my case, the “he” was a waiter at a steakhouse, and after some smalltalk, I found out that he trained at one of the most noted steakhouses in Chicago. He worked there for years, and you can’t keep a competitive job like that without knowing your product.

When you’re on the receiving side: It’s OK to be nosy and ask multiple questions. Newbies deserve chances, too, but they at least have to possess a knowledge that puts your mind at ease and causes it to open (even slightly) to their ideas.

When you’re on the sales side: Get to know the ins and outs of whatever it is you’re selling. Nothing dissolves trust faster than not having the facts in your pocket. If you don’t have years of actual experience in a specification, then counter it by studying everything you can about what you’re pitching (that experience counts, too). If you do, flaunt it. You’ve got more competitors than you think and a consumer’s choices are endless, so make it clear you know what you’re talking about.

Confidence Draws A Crowd

An unflinching speech goes a long way–and we remember them. I literally remember the special cooking process of this cut of beef I ordered (something I don’t necessarily care about anyway). If the waiter had no confidence, it would have been in one ear and out the other.

When you’re on the receiving side: Think about the last time you bought (or bought into) a product because of the pitch. Was the salesperson nervous, jumpy, uninterested, annoyed? Probably not. Don’t just look for confidence–require it. A poor purchase is just as disappointing as a poor sell. If confidence is not there, then it’s not worth your time.

When you’re on the sales side: Confidence is really a product of experience, genuity (believe in what you’re selling), and practice. At Proof, we practice presentations, review strategies, and edit our process before we get in front of potential consumers. There’s absolutely no need to go into anything blindly. You might get a curve ball every now and then, but practice definitely decreases your chances of striking out. Lean on your team to help prepare you for a successful pitch. We swear by it.

Love it or hate it, the sales pitch is part of everyone’s reality–now more than ever. Whether you’re looking for experience and confidence from a consumer’s perspective, or committing to making them part of your “sales” process as a brand, they’re the ingredients to success, from both sides of the table.

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