Principle #1: Believe in yourself
I was fortunate to learn very early on the key principle that all successful entrepreneurs need to know: First, you have to believe in yourself.
It's actually not that difficult to succeed. It's much more common sense than rocket science. But it starts with finding the courage to put yourself out there.
Believing in yourself is what gives you the confidence and resilience to deal with the rejections and doubts. It drives you to do the best job you can, no matter what you’re doing.
Over time, I've learned to trust my instincts — and that's crucial. You can learn all kinds of things from other people, but ultimately it's your own instincts that you'll need to rely on. The bottom line of your business is you.
Whether you are selling door-to-door, on the phone, through an infomercial, or on a website, ultimately the venue doesn't matter. All of these methods work. First and foremost, you must be able to sell yourself. People don't buy your product or service only because they like it or want it; they also buy it because they like you. If they don't like you, then in many cases it doesn't matter how much they like the product you're selling, they won’t buy it.
If you put yourself out there with confidence, you'll find that most people respect you and respond well to you, whether or not they want what you're selling.
Principle #2: Believe in what you are selling
Believing in yourself leads naturally to a second principle: You have to believe in what you’re selling.
People sometimes think of selling as the art of being pushy, crafty or even manipulative. In fact, it's exactly the opposite. The best salespeople focus on asking questions and listening, not pushing.
I don't believe in high-pressure selling. High pressure is what people use when they're selling something nobody wants, or charging far more than their product is worth. There's a difference between being persuasive and applying pressure. I'm persuasive when I'm selling, but that's because I truly believe in what I'm selling and the value it will create for my customer. My feeling is, I'd be doing my customers a disservice if I let them not buy my product.
The best salespeople are so dedicated to giving customers what they want that they are willing to be as rigorous, patient, and dedicated as it takes to make the sale. They don't give up easily because they believe in what they're doing.
I'm always genuinely fascinated to know why people wouldn't want what I'm selling. If you're not passionate about the product or service you're offering, how could you possibly approach people with genuine confidence? Make sure you're proud of what you sell and the value it creates in people's lives, and you'll instantly become a better entrepreneur.
Principle #3: Treat other people with respect
Believing in yourself also leads to a third success principle: When you respect yourself, treating other people with respect comes naturally. Treating other people with great respect is one of the most powerful secrets of business success. Keep doing that over time with everyone you encounter, and you'll find that people are consistently receptive to you and to your products, services, and ideas. Any fears and doubts you have will start to melt away.
And then you won't hesitate to go ahead and ask for the sale.