In the 25+ years, I’ve worked in the sales and marketing arena, I’ve believed in one key route to success. People buy from people they like and trust.
Getting people to like you is, of course, an inexact science and is never guaranteed. It’s nothing personal; it’s just a matter of personal chemistry between your representatives and your prospects. This is why it’s always a good idea to pass sales leads around your sales team if your initial contact doesn’t yield success.
Confidence is, of course, a major component of being likable and, in my experience, this is an area where many marketers let themselves down.
Warning: Confidence should never be confused with arrogance — that will get you nowhere.
Lack of confidence in your ability to perform any number of marketing tasks can result in the following failures:
- Pushing out watered-down marketing based on your colleagues’ perceptions of what your organization’s marketing should look like instead of building strategic campaigns based on carefully analyzed insight and experience.
- Sitting on good ideas. Remember, an idea is only as good as its execution. In fact, a mediocre idea that is executed with confidence will always yield far more significant results than doing nothing.
- Continuing with campaigns that you know won’t work because, and these are the most dangerous words in business, “We’ve always done it this way.”
- Wasting time on activities that will not drive leads and ultimately build sales. Seriously, if you are behind on your targets, do you really want to get involved with the company picnic?
- Spending far too much money on activities that may drive sales but stand very little chance of delivering a profit.
- Missing out on opportunities to build the reputation of your organization in the public arena and improve (and this should be very important to you) your own personal brand.
Aren’t Confident Marketers Born This Way?
Confidence isn’t something people are naturally born with. Behind every articulate marketing writer or engaging public speaker, there is the same nagging doubt that hampers the less confident.
At the end of the day, we all wonder if the stuff we produce is any good and if people will like it. That never goes away.
The only difference between the confident and more insecure is experience. The confident ones put themselves out there, learn from their experience and always strive to improve themselves. While they might make mistakes, those mistakes are rarely picked up on by their peers (who have their own insecurities). Besides, there is no greater self-improvement tool than the experience of failure (as long as you don’t make the same mistake too many times).
The less-confident choose to focus on the fear instead until it builds up and appears insurmountable.
Understanding that there is nothing to fear but fear itself (really, what’s the worst that can happen?) is a major first step to building your confidence as a marketer.
Taking Your First Steps Toward Marketing Confidence
The act of doing is often mistaken for confidence, and I can think of worse things to be mistaken for. So what are you going to do to improve your marketing confidence?
- Are you going to start writing those blog posts that you know will work for you for weeks, months and even years into the future (unlike any paid activity — which stops the moment you stop paying)?
- Are you going to start rebuilding your email marketing lists and dedicate more time and effort into building real relationships with your prospects and clients instead of flashy “spray and pray” campaigns that you’ve sent in the past?
- Are you going to push yourself to the front of an audience, share your wisdom and help position yourself and your organization as a thought leader?
- Are you going to stand up to your colleagues and tell them how your organization’s marketing could be so much more successful — if they allowed you to get on with the job of being a marketer? Confident people inspire trust.
How did you become a more confident marketer? Share your comments below:
This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.