The Importance of Confidence in Sales. Channeling Liam Neeson's Taken Character.

Posted by Peter Caputa on Sep 6, 2013 1:52:00 PM

I'm a huge fan of the movie Taken. In general, Liam Neeson is the man. But, he's especially the man in this movie. If you've ever watched the first Taken movie, I'm sure you remember the scene where his daughter calls him from underneath a bed in her friend's cousin's apartment in Paris, as she's about to be abducted by what turns out to be some thugs running a prostitution ring. The kidnapper picks up the phone and Liam notices the change in breathing. He then delivers an amazing set of lines over the phone from across the world. If you haven't seen the scene, here you go...


If you don't want to watch it or don't remember the scene, here's what he says:

I don't know who you are
I don't know what you want
If you're looking for ransom, I can tell you that I don't have any money
But what I do have is a very unique set of skills
A set of skills I have acquired over a very long career
Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you
If you let my daughter go now, that will be the end of it
I will not look for you. I will not pursue you. 
But if you don't...
I will look for you. I will find you. I will kill you.

As you can see, Liam has confidence. He is direct and concise. He knows what he's capable of delivering and he's confident in telling the guy on the other end of the line what he can do. He is appropriately aggressive for the situation, but in a calm, cool and collected way. Anyone who is a father can relate to wanting to react in that way. Not many of us could. Very few of us would be able to deliver on the threat, either.

Salespeople need to be confident too. Salespeople need to be calm and collected. Even in difficult situations, they need to state clearly what they can do, set expectations properly, and then follow through on their words. They need to be appropriately confident so that their prospect believes them. 

Just like very few (if any) of us would ever be able to react the way Liam did in the movie, salespeople do not commonly exhibit the appropriate level of confidence. I've found that it's important to remind salespeople that they are absolute experts at what they do. Salespeople often need to be reminded of how much of an expert they are before they can project it. Sometimes, they have it. Sometimes, when stress hits them at the end of their quota period or they lose a deal,  they really lose confidence. A sales manager isn't always there to remind them how awesome they are. So, sometimes, it makes sense for salespeople to develop a habit of reminding themselves through sales affirmations, so they can project the confidence they need to project. At Inbound13, in my "Transformational Selling" talk, I delivered these lines to a room full of inbound marketing agency owners, as a reminder to them that they are experts and that as they talk to prospects, they should be confident in their expertise: 

I know who you are.
I know what you want.
If you're looking for an easy answer, I can tell you that I don't have one
But what I do have is a very unique set of skills
A set of skills that I have acquired over a very long career
Skills that make me a savior for people like you
If you buy from me now, we will make progress faster
But if you don't..
I won't look for you. I won't find you. I can't help you.

$10 to the first person who uses it on a sales call at closing time. Have your prospect comment here after they've bought. It's pretty much what a great salesperson should be able to say anyways, if they've done it right

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