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Take steps to let everyone know you’re authentic


Everyone seeks to be and be known as authentic. Very few are.

If I ask you how authentic you are, your answer would be “10!” on the one to 10 scale. If I asked you how authentic your customers perceive you to be, would the answer be the same? Maybe a little lower? A lot lower?

Last week (yes, this is part two), I emphasized the brand and reputation that goes with you, even precedes you into the sales meeting. Maybe even gets you there.

Here are the rest of the actions you can take to ensure that your customers and prospects perceive you as authentic.

3. Write an article that your customers, prospects or other people in your industry will read. Shorter than a white paper, an article (like this one) will focus on a single subject, such as service, morals, a productive idea, a strategy, a philosophy or even a success story. It should be strategically placed in a trade journal, newsletter or local business paper and also e-mailed to every single person on your list. If you don’t have a list, what are you thinking?

4. Produce a weekly communication to your entire base of contacts. Mine is an e-mail magazine called Sales Caffeine. It’s a free publication that contains helpful sales information and ideas that others can use and profit from. It’s also viral. It contains so much good information that one salesperson feels compelled to forward it to a colleague; thereby increasing and expanding my authenticity.

Note well: The single most valuable asset you will possess for the next 50 years will be your e-mail mailing list. Build it, use it to help others profit and guard it with your life.

5. Speak at a conference. Don’t just be an attendee or an exhibitor. Speaking to your peers ensures you a leadership position and an authenticity that is undeniable. Speaking means that you are an expert or an authority, that you have prepared and that your presentation skills are competent enough to allow you to face a group of peers and win their hearts and minds.

6. Become a leader of something. By taking a leadership role in a community event, business group or committee, you are showing others a willingness to accept responsibility and complete a task to the best of your ability.

7. Build a great reputation. If you add up all of your deeds, good will, word-of-mouth rumblings and achievements, they equal your reputation. If you complain to me that you don’t have much of a reputation, it’s because you haven’t taken many actions to create one. If you complain to me that your reputation is great but your company’s reputation leaves something to be desired, get out of there. Your company’s reputation and your reputation must be in total harmony for you to have true authenticity.

7.5. Fake it till you make it. In order to be authentic, you have to live authentically. The problem is, you can’t start out authentic; you have to be a student of authenticity. You have to take daily actions that will lead you to a greater degree of authenticity. During that period of time, you have to act authentic. I’m not saying be insincere; I’m saying live the part. I’m not saying to be someone you’re not; I’m saying be the person you want to become. You grow into authenticity by taking authentic actions, and there’s nothing wrong with knowing where you’re going and living it until you get there.

Here’s a great way to build a foundation: Help others because it makes you feel good. The more help you share, the more help is returned to you. Not by the individual you helped. By everyone.

Note well: Authenticity is never a part of someone’s “system of selling.” Systems focus on the “selling” process. Big mistake. Authentic people create buying atmospheres with all the other things they do that get them into the sales meeting.

If you’re authentic, you don’t have to say it or prove it. It shows and it speaks for itself. The most powerful part of authenticity is that, if done properly, it’s unspoken.

Personal note: When I go into a sales call, my authenticity is not my business card. My authenticity is my book. Autographed. Which sales educator or sales trainer do you think gets the job, the one who read the book or the one who wrote the book?

Missed part one? Quit your complaining. Both parts of this article are available at www.gitomer.com. Register if you’re a first-time visitor, enter AUTHENTIC in the GitBit box, and you’ll get the article plus more authentic information.

Jeffrey Gitomer can be reached by phone at (704) 333-1112 or by e-mail at salesman@gitomer.com.

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