5 Ways to Channel Your Swagger to Succeed in Sales

Selling is hard. There is no way around it. Even high-achieving salespeople fail twice as often as they succeed. It’s critical to keep your wits about you in this line of work.

That’s where swagger comes in. I could write an entire ebook about swagger (and someday I might). Swagger is your inner rock star. It’s exponential belief. Some have even called it impenetrable confidence.

When you have swagger, you accomplish more. Swagger is what truly separates the great from the average. However, it’s not something you merely wake up with or stumble upon. It’s a mindset you must consistently develop. Here are a few tips for channeling swagger:

Believe Your Customers Are Better Off For Doing Business with You

You help people—that’s the definition of professional selling. Above all else, when it comes to selling, know two things:

  1. People have problems
  2. You have solutions

It’s your job to connect those dots. Some puzzles will be easier to solve than others. The rewards will be greater when the puzzles are more difficult, but the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow can’t be your only motivation. Your sense of purpose must be your driving force.

Believe You Are the Best in The World at What You Do

This is where your inner rock star really shows itself. It requires taking total ownership of your craft and consciously stepping into “the zone.” The concept of being the “best in the world” may throw you off a bit, but stay with me.

Nobody does what you do the way you do it, and that’s a beautiful thing. Take the idea that you’re unique, and amplify that concept to rock star proportions. Your prospects don’t have access to anyone in the world with your particular mix of talents, skills, and drive.  What you do, and the way you do it means something to people. That meaning is valuable, and the feeling people get when doing business with you is the difference between a one-time customer and a customer for life.

My philosophy on prospecting pushes you to think deeply about what makes your different. Once you know what that is—embrace it. Take full ownership of your unique value.

There may be more technically skilled guitar players out there, but that doesn’t stop Slash from doing his thing. There are singers with better voices, but Bono carries that “best-in-the-world” persona with him wherever he goes. That’s exactly the attitude I’m talking about here. It doesn’t require you getting on stage in front of thousands of people, but that swagger fuels your performance in front of your customer.

Here’s an exercise I do on a regular basis to help me keep that feeling. Repeat this to yourself…

“I’m the best in the world at what I do, and the really scary part is that I’m only half as good as I’m going to be.”

I like to say it to myself in the bathroom mirror while I’m brushing my teeth. After three or four times in a row, you literally start to feel a fire in your belly. After 20, 30, 50, 100 times, you feel like you may be onto something. 

Accept that There are Some Things You Can’t Control

In the end, your prospect decides whether to buy, you don’t. Maybe you did everything right. Maybe you believed you’d land the new account or product extension, but they picked someone else. Every time that happens, I go back to this phrase from Dr. Seuss’s Oh, The Places You’ll Go. 

Except when they don’t

Because sometimes they won’t

Sometimes in life, and in sales, things just don’t go your way. You can only do so much. Focus on your process, position yourself to win, and let the chips fall where they may from there.

Get Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

Most golfers don’t win the first major championship they play in. Coming down the stretch, the atmosphere is different. The pressure increases. Each shot means a little more. Self-talk between each shot sounds a little different.

When situations feel unfamiliar, it’s more difficult to perform at a high level. However, the more you put yourself in unfamiliar, uncomfortable situations, the more comfortable you will be in those situations. The volume and static will dim. Normalcy will return. Your self-doubt will dwindle because you will realize it’s not about you. Your self-worth is not tied to this win. Your ego takes a back seat. You’ll have a quiet confidence, knowing you’ve been here before and you’ll get here again.

You may have noticed that I’m not just talking about golf anymore…

The key to getting comfortable with the uncomfortable is practice and perspective. Having swagger doesn’t mean your ego runs the show. It means you’re confident enough to know that sometimes you will execute perfectly and you still won’t win. It means you have the will to overcome and learn from every setback, and the strength to keep dancing with fear. As you put yourself out there more often, you’ll win more often. And that’s the goal, right?

Believe That You’re Always Getting Better

I’ve heard the phrase, “’No’ just means ‘not yet’” in the past.  I think it’s an overused (and mostly used out of context) phrase, but there are some places where this axiom legitimately applies. To be successful in sales, you must not only be resilient in the face of adversity but also confident and adaptable enough to learn from “no.” It’s one thing to belligerently browbeat someone into doing business with you, and it’s quite another to realize when you’re fighting a losing battle. Swagger means being confident enough to admit your missteps, learn from setbacks, and use so-called “failure” as fuel to tweak, adapt, and do better next time.