receives compensation from some of the companies listed on this page. Advertising Disclosure


Sell Yourself: 5 Secrets to Appearing Confident During a Sales Pitch

Carol Evenson
Aug 31, 2016

For some people confidence isn't something that comes easily. We have provided the following steps to help foster confidence in sales.

In an ever increasingly competitive world, sales professionals are constantly looking for ways to acquire more leads and drive more revenue.

This sense of urgency, however, often causes employees to forget that they aren’t simply selling a product or service. They are also selling themselves.

Customers are constantly evaluating everything an employee says or does during the sales process and are looking to their sales rep to make them feel secure and confident about their upcoming purchase.

In order to foster that sense of security, it is important that each sales rep is capable of exuding confidence throughout the process. Unfortunately, for some people, confidence isn’t something that comes as easily. 

For those of you who may currently feel you lack confidence in yourself or your professional skills, we have provided the following steps to help foster that over time.

1. Practice

Practicing anything brings us to a place where we feel a greater sense of ease. Whether you are preparing to debut in your first Broadway musical, reciting your first poem by memory in front of your entire school, proposing to the person that you love in a public place or petitioning for more time off at work, practice puts us at ease. Practice, as the old saying goes, makes perfect. Whether or not you believe this is true, it does carry an element of truth.

Practice, ever since the first human beings walked the planet, was a way to master a skill, learn a trade, market yourself, earn an income and survive. Most of us, arguably 99.9 percent of us are not born with phenomenal communication skills. These things, like anything in life, have to be learned and practicing is the only way we can get there. If you want to appear confident when giving sales pitches you have to practice giving them over and over and over again.

Part of practicing means giving yourself permission to fail. Failing is built into the world practice because nowhere in this word do we see anything about perfectionism. We learn from our mistakes. Give yourself permission to fail when making sales pitches. This is totally natural and human and real and people will appreciate your genuine and sincere approach to sales pitches. Be gentle with yourself when you do fail and learn from your mistakes. Above all, remember that practice does make perfect, or something close to it.

2. Persistence

Persistence is, perhaps, one of the most important factors to appearing confident when giving a sales pitch. Practicing persistence in a conversation lets others know that you are not one to easily back down or give up. You are determined, you are driven, you are willing to do what it takes to make something happen. This is an admirable quality, even if you have to fake your way through it.

Be persistent, without being too overbearing, by responding to their answers with facts and questions. Let them know how great your product is. Sell it. At the very least, persistence is a great way to get what you want by helping them get what they want. The key, however, is that they have to know what they need, which is where you come in.

Tell them that they need your product and why. Tell them that they want your product and why. If you can practice the technique of leading your client to arrive at the answer and the realization that they need and want this product themselves, this is ultimately the very best way. Again, persistence in the form questions, facts, eye contact, useful and helpful information, deals, care, and trust are always great ways to appear confident and collected.

3. Pride

Being proud of the products and merchandise that you are selling is a serious factor in appearing confident. If you believe in the stuff you are trying to sell, perhaps even use some of them, and stand behind every word of your sales pitch, then you are more likely to make others feel and do the same. People are people, regardless of your products, and they have some of the best nonsense detectors built into them. If you are faking your way through your sales pitch because you are disinterested, how do you expect them to gain interest?

4. Smile!

Don’t forget to smile. Be sincere. Be yourself. Be professional, yet personable. Be serious, yet sociable. No one wants to buy products from, or even take an interest in, someone who looks like they would rather be somewhere else and doing something else. As a future buyer of your products, I am most likely to engage and take interest in what you have to say if I feel like I am speaking with a human being (with emotions, a real life, someone who is animated and acting alive) instead of an automated voice messaging machine that speaks to me like a monotone robot.

It’s true. Everyone knows that whether or not you make this sale directly affects how much money you take home that day, but that cannot be your continual excuse to fudge your way through sale after sale.

Use lots of expressions when talking, even if it seems over the top. Hand gestures, smiles, widening the eyes, opening the mouth, and action, in general, brings life and positive energy to a conversation. Standing in one place, keeping a straight face, and conversing with someone as though you have a straight-jacket on is not the best way to appear confident when giving a sales pitch.

5. Body Language

Pay attention to body language. According to Shapiro Negotiations, “The best sales negotiators are the people who listen effectively.” And by listen we mean more than with just words. What your body says and what your client’s body is saying is usually more than you need to know what your next step in terms of sales pitching should be. Did your client raise her eyebrows at a certain comment you made or lift her chin while listening? These are signs that she’s interested, or at least that you’ve got her attention.

Beyond just the body language, make sure you are tuning into any and all verbal cues that are coming your way. Your ability to identify their interest or disinterest and respond to it effectively shows great care and confidence and will give your client a chance to trust you, which we have said is typically one of the very first, and most important, steps in gaining and building confidence when giving sales pitches and actually making a sale.

Image Credit:

shironosov / Getty Images

Carol Evenson
Carol Evenson is a business consultant specializing in corporate growth and development. She assists companies across North and South America with their expansion needs.