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Being Inauthentic is Exhausting

At the start of all my training sessions I always ask the participants how many of them feel a little queasy with any or all elements of selling. After a few moments of hemming and hawing a fourth of the participants are willing to publicly admit elements of unease.

The reality is a lot of sales people feel uncomfortable, whether they are willing to admit it is another story.

The next question I ask of those who have been in sales for 10+ years, has it gotten more fun and enjoyable? Beside the predictable Pollyanna goody-good, the answer is a resounding NO!

The problem lies with the notion that with the best of intentions, sales people want to bring substance and value to the party, they want to contribute and truly help their customers, yet they accomplish the exact opposite effect too often. Then to make matters worse, they overcompensate by being hyper-friendly, animated and upbeat, annoyingly persistent and they overwhelm their customers with meaningless mounds of information.

The end result is selling can be very exhausting, regardless of whether sales people enjoy success or not. More often than not, customers nullify conventional sales people's meaningful intentions as superfluous, inauthentic and without value or merit.

To reverse this negative perception, sales people have to take a more authentic, genuine, transparent and realistic approach with their customers in order to be able to create trust and value. This would also greatly mitigate the stress and feeling of exhaustion sales people too often operate under because they rarely have a sense of being able to control their destiny.

Let's face it, it is exhausting calling on customers who are hardened to our self-promotion, skeptical of spending their time with us, leery of sharing any semblance of meaningful information, reluctant to be truthful with us and resistant to give us definitive and forthright answers. By being the first to extend a gesture of being authentic, upfront and straightforward, you greatly increase your chances that customers will feel obligated to reciprocate the favor.

Being authentic is energizing and liberating. No longer do you carry around the heavy, exhausting burden of constantly having to sell and prove. This burden is realigned and shifted to the customer's side of the fence where they have to do the heavy lifting of proving to themselves that they want to seriously consider changing or doing anything differently. Your questions and intentions allow them to openly discover where they are, and where they want to go, without fear of being bamboozled into a solution that may or may not be in their best interest.

Being authentic allows you to build trust, confidence and long-term relationships, due to the fact that you are more of a customer advocate, instead of being a product or company advocate. Being authentic is the epitomy of a no fuss, no muss, no nonsense approach. When there is no pressure on both parties at the selling event, the truth so often comes out so much sooner and easier. When you are being authentic, real and genuine, you no longer feel such an inherent need to prove your point and you simply empower customers to think for themselves. You are far more conscientious about having the customer find their own answers independent of your own selling agenda and goals.

Richard Farrell is President of Tangent Knowledge Systems, a national sales development and training firm based in Chicago. He is the author of the upcoming book Selling has Nothing to do with Selling. He trains and speaks around the world and has authored many articles on his unique non-selling sales posture.

Phone: 773-404-7915
EMail: rfarrell@tangentknowledge.com
Web: http://www.tangentknowledge.com