How to Be a Memorable Salesperson Part 8: Be Authentic
We’ve been hearing great feedback about this series on how to be a memorable salesperson and hope you’re finding it to be useful, too.
Each post in this series has included specific, simple, actionable tips you can adopt immediately. We’ve also included follow-up resources you can access if you want to learn more and keep working on any one of the 12 ways to become more memorable.
I’ve been asked numerous times why I include resources by other sales experts, presumably my competitors. I share other people’s work because, for me, that’s authentic. It matches my personal value of wanting to help and support others. I don’t have all the answers, and I’m unhappy with myself if I pretend to know something I don’t. So it’s safer, easier, and better for all of us if I make connections between others’ needs and resources that actually meet those needs.
I suppose this makes me memorable. It certainly makes me more popular! I’ve been told it also makes me more credible because people trust me to provide something that meets their needs, not just my own needs.
Being authentic can also make you more memorable with buyers.
- Part 1: Create an Experience
- Part 2: Collaborate With Buyers
- Part 3: Personalize Your Pitch
- Part 4: Be a Giver
- Part 5: Create Value
- Part 6: Take Risks
- Part 7: Encourage Your Buyers
- Part 9: Follow Through
- Part 10: Ask Better Questions
- Part 11: Listen With Empathy
- Part 12: Answer Buyer Questions
How Will Being More Authentic Help Me Be a Memorable Salesperson?
In a research study with 530 B2B buyers, comments revealed that buyers have a perception that all sellers are the same. They seem to believe the stereotypes – that all sellers are greedy, self-centered, schmoozers who will say or do anything to make a sale.
Sadly, as field coach, I encounter a lot of sellers who believe they have to adopt this stereotype in order to succeed. They tuck away their own personalities and values to “be” sellers during their work day. Most don’t like it and aren’t proud of it. But they do it anyway because they’ve convinced themselves that they have to be something they’re not when they are selling.
That research with both buyers and sellers reveals something else. It shows, without doubt, that sellers are more satisfied AND more successful when they are authentic.
That’s because the buyer/seller relationship is, at its core, a human-to-human relationship. Having a singular focus on the transaction is what messes this up and causes sellers to act in ways that are unbecoming to the profession.
Being authentic – your own, true, unique self – makes you memorable. It makes you stand out in a sea of sellers who are all acting the same way.
What Can You Do to Be More Authentic as a Seller?
Just be you.
YOU bring value to your buyer that exceeds the value of the product or service you’re selling.
Do you believe that? It’s very important that you do. You may need to spend some time working this out if you doubt yourself and the value you bring. One way to work through this is by developing your own Sales Philosophy. It’s a powerful and profound exercise that helps you identify your values and then align your actions with them. This 4-step guide will help you get started.
Once you fully understand how YOU bring unique value to buyers, you can be more authentic in every encounter. You’ll know when to say “yes” and when to say “no” when your values and value have been worked out. You’ll exude confidence that’s contagious. And you’ll take far more pride in the work of selling than you do today.
To be authentic with buyers means shedding those icky sales behaviors that you never really wanted to adopt in the first place. Doesn’t that feel good?
To replace those behaviors, stand tall in who you are and what you stand for. Don’t compromise. Don’t ever try to be like someone else. There’s nothing special or memorable about you if we can’t actually get acquainted with you.
The book Stop Selling & Start Leading opens with a story of one seller, Amy Spellman, who left the profession of selling because she didn’t see a way to be authentic in that work. The rest of the book offers alternatives so you won’t have to abandon a sales career, too.
How Can You Learn More About Being True to Yourself When Selling?
Look for resources that position selling as an art, not as a robotic process or science. Trying to force fit yourself into someone else’s mold works against your efforts to remain authentic.
One way to do this is by having emotional courage and self-awareness. Colleen Stanley’s book, Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success, is a must-read on this topic. For an example of how to be authentic and use your own natural strengths, check out Jennifer Gluckow’s new book Sales In A New York Minute.
There are tons of great resources to comb through on The Sales Experts Channel, too. That’s the place where hundreds of presentations are available from dozens of global sales authors, trainers, coaches, speakers, researchers, and thought leaders. You can access on-demand content, at no cost, whenever time allows. It’s all indexed by topic so you can find precisely what you’re looking for, including how to be authentic in your social selling and in every phase of the sales process.
And don’t forget to work on additional ways you can become more memorable:
Stick with this series to read more about buyer research and field observations with sellers.
Check out this video playlist on the People First PS YouTube Channel with more tips and research with buyers. There are 25 videos there, each one lasting just 3-5 minutes.
Read the book that started it all. DISCOVER Questions® Get You Connected is packed with ways you can make yourself more memorable to buyers. It was ahead of its time in bringing research with buyers directly to sellers.
Whatever you decide to do, make a commitment to become more memorable. Standing out in a crowded sea of sellers is a surefire strategy for boosting your sales success.