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Confidence – the Ultimate Emotion

Confidence – the Ultimate Emotion

By Patrick T. Malone

A leader cannot inspire anyone to a higher point of view than his own. That is why it is absolutely essential you believe in the goal you advocate, and why confidence is the first criteria of a good Decision Goal to begin a business discussion.

In the late 1980s, a little known Atlanta businessman, Billy Payne, dreamed of bringing the Olympics to his hometown. Privately he worked on his dream until he had transformed it into his belief. Only then did he take his idea public, where he was greeted by smiles, polite nods and even derision behind his back. Unshaken, he continued to spread his vision to the movers and shakers in Atlanta, in the United States, and globally to the International Olympic Committee. Billy Payne’s confidence was rewarded with the 1996 Summer Olympics. Without that confidence, he would have quickly abandoned his Olympic idea and returned to his business pursuits.

Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank believed they could succeed in the home improvement business in spite of having been fired from a leading home improvement retailer. Their confidence gave birth to Home Depot. Sam Walton’s confidence created Wal-Mart and made him a billionaire many times over. The list of recognized leaders and their confidence is endless – Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Jack Welch, Lee Iacocca, etc.


All you really want

You are not trying to stage the next Olympics or build a better Wal-Mart. All you really want is an opportunity to earn the secondary distributor role. All you really want is an opportunity to talk with the office manager to discover what that hospital values. All you really want is for the manufacturer’s rep to help you gain confidence in their newest flea and tick product.

The same confidence that delivered the 1996 Olympics to Atlanta and built Home Depot and Wal-Mart can deliver the initial order, the access to the decision-influencer or the product confidence you want. By using the following three “All you really want” examples, we will show you how to demonstrate confidence at the beginning of the business conversation.


To the decision-maker: “You told me you valued reliability and consistency. I have been calling on you for two years now and believe I have demonstrated the characteristics you value in a supplier. I’d like to discuss a trial order with my company so you can determine if we can earn the right to be your secondary supplier.”


To the receptionist: “My company has assisted many hospitals like yours ease some of the burden on their staff. I don’t know enough about your hospital to know if I can do the same here. A short conversation with your office manager will help me understand your operations and burdens, and then if I can suggest some ways that we can help and he can determine if they are appropriate for your hospital.”


To the manufacturer’s rep: “I can make a better case for your new flea and tick product if I have a better understanding of how it stacks up against XYZ product. Let’s discuss the features, functions and benefits of each and then you can decide if I am ready to provide your product with the professional representation it deserves.”


Decision goals demonstrate confidence at the beginning of the business interaction. Facts are a necessary part of every business conversation but they do not close the deal. Ultimately decision making is based on emotion and Confidence is the Ultimate Emotion.  

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