Most sales professional present themselves as who they want to be instead of who they really are. You may look, act, and speak the way you think our clients expect you to, but when you create a incongruent version of yourselves, sales suffer. I know because I did this at first when I started Engage. Honestly, when I started my business I thought I had to look act and sound like all the “big name” trainers out there. Corporate, big business, with a very male baby boomer personality. As you know, that’s not me. And while business grew at first, eventually the incongruence caught up to me. Simply, you can not grow if you are not behaving in an incongruent way.
Its not that I was lying to clients, it’s that I was delivering what I thought THEY wanted… not what was genuine to my own style. Once I moved the business back to a model and a style that was congruent with who I was (around the time you started hearing about my Dog, my Harley, Chris and my lifestyle choices in moving to Miami in the winter, etc) the business started doubling. No longer was I trying to be a baby boomer male. I was just being me.
And you being you is the most profitable sales move you can make
Here’s why authenticity is crucial to your business success.
1. Authenticity builds trust. Today’s customers are discerning and skeptical. The have strong, finely tuned B.S. meters! Clients don’t know if they can trust you or not in fact, studies show that most do not trust at first, and only trust after the human element is incorporated into the sales call. Incorporating your personality into your marketing and your website helps create a human connection that reassures customers and convinces them that you are a person they like and want to do business with. If you’re accessible and personable to customers, then it goes a long way toward building confidence in your business.
2. Being authentic sets you apart. You could be like all the other bland, sanitized sales professionals, (or who I was trying to be… a 60 year old man!) or you could be yourself. And by being yourself, you eliminate the competition, because no other business can offer the same blend of personality and authenticity that you can. You don’t need to compete. You just have to be yourself.
3. Your personality will attract clients who appreciate it. If you stand for everyone, you stand for no one. Anyone who is put off by you being yourself probably wasn’t going to buy from you anyway. And they certainly weren’t going to be repeat customers. The customers you attract will be people who relate to you, for whom your personality resonates, and those are people who are willing to build long-lasting relationships with you. It’s the ultimate target marketing.
So, how do you incorporate you into your business? Well, that’s up to you. There is no formula to follow or any textbooks to read. Just start revealing your life to your clients. Do you have a spouse, family, cottage? Are you a skier? Donate to charity? Have a unique hobby or a favorite TV show? (mine is House!) ? Tap into your unique personality and let shine during your sales calls. After all, Authenticity sells!