“Pragmatic Sales Psychology” short episode series, writing #11”
It seems like telling someone to be authentic, which is another appeal for them to be themselves, should not be a topic in a series about sales psychology, but we all remember the old saying about assuming, so this is territory that does indeed need to be covered. Why? For decades it has been the perception of many that to be a good sales professional one must morph into some mystical sales professional demeanor, and although being professional in your approach is the right approach, becoming an alter ego runs in diametrical opposition to the truth. The best person you can be is yourself. As long as you are a decent sort of individual, being “the authentic you” will garner much better results than trying to be who you imagine a high performing sales person should be like.
Years ago, before she got used to hearing my approach and understanding the method behind my madness, my wife asked a sincere question,” Why do you spend so much time talking about random stuff and not getting down to business?” This was a very fair question to someone listening in to what should have been a sales/business dedicated conversation. What was I doing? Just being me. If I can’t have fun and get to know people while I work, I don’t want to do it. I have no interest in a dull and mundane existence where I go from conversation to conversation, talking only brass tacks (that is an old cliche, my young friends). Not only would it be incredibly boring and unsatisfying, but it doesn’t work nearly as well as when you prioritize making friends first.
Do not mistake this writing as a green light to go renegade with random sales activities and shoot from the hip with no methodology. There is a huge difference in being yourself and abandoning best practices to refine the way you sell as far as when to address certain topics, and your chronological approach. The suggestion to be authentic should be applied appropriately during every phase of a sales encounter. It is a recommendation about your general demeanor, not the process itself.
In an earlier writing, I mentioned how important it is to sell confidence. Authenticity takes away a lot of preconceived emotional baggage consumers may be carrying with them from past sales experiences, where things ended up not being exactly what they seemed to be. Authenticity is the antidote; it can allow confidence to manifest and grow itself.
Being yourself will allow you to connect best with that portion of the buying public that would naturally gravitate to you, and overcome the cynicism of many who wouldn’t. Assuming you are a caring person who wants to accurately identify and sell with care and concern for your prospects needs, please, at the urging of this article, be naked and sincere in your dealings. If you are not, naturally, someone who cares and wants to apply decent people skills (be they in person or virtually) then I would strongly suggest you find something else to do for a living. You would be that person that makes our lives an unnecessarily larger challenge.
“No one man can, for any considerable time, wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which is the true one.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne