Confidence in Sales

Confidence vs. Arrogance in Sales – What’s the Difference?

To me confidence is the biggest enabler when it comes to catalysing progress in your career, especially in sales where confidence is a most necessary tool.

Those who personally know me may think it unlikely, but I sometimes struggle with my self confidence at times. Some things in life I approach with a certain degree of apprehension – for instance I remember that time at the Year 8 disco when I was too scared to ask the prettiest girl to dance. That’s also how I would feel during meetings with famous or prominent business people or during TV/radio spots – where despite preparation and belief in my abilities, confidence remains an issue.

In the end I realised that no matter what, people also find confidence in people who are confident. Individuals who are definitive and command a strong knowledge of their subject matter outshine those who appear flippant and unreliable. Thus, a mastery of confidence allows you not only to empower yourself but to empower those around you as well!

In other words, confidence is attractive and contagious. This is why it’s a powerful tool to use in sales conversations. When you demonstrate an air of authority as well as your knowledge of the product or service, your client will more likely pay attention to what you are selling. Your confidence in the solution you are offering makes you appear credible and trustworthy. I have evidence for- with countless examples time and time again.

But surely, even the most experienced salespeople still get the jitters at times. So you might ask where you can draw this confidence from – or how?

For me – the easiest way is to think of something you are really good at and focus on the emotions and comfort you experience in that moment. In my case for instance, the confidence I get walking onto a squash court – that sense of knowing 95 games out of 100 no one at an amateur level could beat me – is a feeling I try to emulate in other areas of my life I am not as confident in. It’s all about putting your mind in the right frame.

Moreover, the effort I put into practice and training allows me to dismiss any doubts. It’s easier to feel confident when you know you are ready and well-prepared for a presentation. Because then you know you won’t be bluffing your way through the presentation and blowing your chances of getting the deal.

Finally, the most important thing is to learn from your mistakes and past experiences. Following a nerve-racking experience, I always take positivity from the things I did well and am thankful for the opportunity in and of itself – this gives me further confidence for future ventures.

Having said that, many people would then say that over-confidence is essentially a synonym for arrogance. In my mind, there is a clear difference.

Over-confidence arises when an individual backs oneself to excel at something with reasonable grounds to do so – based on personal history, preparation and individual ability. Over-confidence only becomes an issue when your ability to deliver may be slightly less in reality than your own expectations, often resulting in an outcome which your audience, customer and/or yourself find less than desirable. More often than not, over-confidence is only palpable when someone is overly ostentatious (showing off). Thus by adopting a more reserved confidence – regardless of whether you are over-confident or not (as this is hard for to figure out yourself) you will run a reduced risk of your audience expecting more than what you can deliver.

In a way, over-confidence is what drives some salespeople to “oversell” a product or service. It’s a precarious situation to be in as you are setting extremely high expectations that the product or service might not be able to meet in reality. This is when confidence issues can become a problem are easily solved by adopting to a needs based approach.

Arrogance, on the other hand, has much less of an ability to be controlled. Arrogant individuals are incapable of moderating their behaviour and suffer from prioritising their own views above those of others. A confident individual may receive feedback and still find comfort in their own ideas, but will also be willing to listen or perhaps even change their views. An arrogant person listens to their inner voice at the expense of such input and their toxic egotism discredits their ideas even if they have value!

Ultimately, confidence is important and even if this develops into over-confidence, you will only be harmed if you behave in a way which makes a habit of singing your own praises, as then your audience will make less of an initial assumption on what you can do and simply judge you on what you actually deliver. Arrogance, however, will result in people turning away from you regardless of how good you are. So back yourself to deliver but do so in a way which is modest enough to avoid you being perceived as arrogant.

I always say “Aim to inspire and you’ll be admired; try to be admired and you will be fired.’


About The Author

Dailius Wilson

Dailius Wilson is the 24 year old founder of – helping the world's top SaaS companies to optimise their sales and marketing efforts. Dailius is currently a Director at TrustRadius and a digital blogger at Dailius was named as one of the Top 30 Entrepreneurs in Australia for 2015 by Anthill Online and was ranked in the Top 100 SEO Experts in the World. Dailius has also been a guest on the Ellen Degeneres Show and has over 10,000,000 views on Youtube