Sometimes I wonder why it’s so hard for people, specifically ones who work at the executive level of large corporations, to communicate in a sincere and authentic way.
You’re probably aware of what I mean – when they speak to the public they speak in “statements” not in natural conversation.
Their PR agencies advise them to say the least amount possible, avoiding empathy and emotion, almost as if they are robots.
Take a look at the way former BP boss Tony Hayward spoke at the recent congressional hearing and you’ll see what I mean.
Last week in Australia, a prominent CEO resigned hastily among accusations of inappropriately crossing the boundaries with the women he worked with.
What was his statement on his way out of the country to avoid the mess he left behind, “I acknowledge that I have committed serious errors of judgment.”
Judgment? It’s not as simple as that.
How about “I’m truly sorry for taking advantage of my position as CEO and disrespecting and hurting others around me. No apologies will ever make this right, I intend to do whatever it takes to heal the pain I caused.”
Even government officials of most counties, speak in sound bites designed to neutralize their listeners rather than connect with them at the human level.
I’ve been noticing this type of communication more and more lately because it is in dramatic contrast to the core of what I teach with Unlock The Game.
Now more than ever, people, customers and prospects are reaching out for connection with others.
Yet, in selling, most still follow a linear, scripted and robotic approach to connecting with potential clients in a sales environment.
Similar to corporate executives and politicians, they stay detached and keep a distance because they’re scared of being vulnerable.
Ironically though, being vulnerable makes you human, which is the core to creating trust with others and yourself.
Are you happy with how it feels to sell and the results you are currently experiencing?
If not, then maybe it’s time stop following a script, changing who you really are, and sacrificing your personal values in pursuit of the “sale”.
Here are 5 trust-building tips to get you started:
1. Stop worrying about being “perfect”, start genuinely caring about helping others
You don’t have to be “James Bond”, flawless and smooth to be successful in the world of selling. This new economy is demanding authenticity and transparency, giving us permission to treat others as we want to be treated.
Our most successful Unlock The Game clients (breaking their sales records) are the most centered and imperfect. They don’t rattle off answers quickly. They don’t try to control the sales conversation. They don’t attempt to cleverly overcome objections.
They go deep into the other person’s issues without spending energy trying to turn the conversation their direction.
Opposite of how you’ve been trained? Exactly.
2. Silence that voice in your mind that wants to skip to “closing the sale”
Our thoughts are like wild horses running in the open plains.
If we can learn how to stay centered and “in the moment” with the person we are having our conversation with, we don’t have to fight our inner voice saying “What about my needs first?”.
The traditional sales gurus have deeply ingrained in our psyche that if we don’t take control of our prospect, they will take control of us.
Adversarial situations is the premise of the entire sales industry.
Conflict is created by someone, it’s not built in.
When you realize you can diffuse any conflict that comes your direction, you tame your thoughts from running away from the moment.
3. It’s ok to acknowledge that you find “selling” the old way distasteful, that’s the first step to a new way
It’s hard to verbally admit that the experience of selling, rejection-filled and painful, is caused by your own mindset.
We don’t want to admit we are the problem. It’s much easier to say it’s our prospects, the competition, our boss, the economy.
Every day, hundreds of sales people, entrepreneurs and business owners call us asking for just one “sales tip” that will vanish away all their sales problems.
Our mission is to help them realize that one more “sales tip” built on their old mindset is just adding salt to the wound.
Change your thinking first, without slipping back, and you’ll experience selling in a way that feels natural and gives you the results you’re looking for.
4. Learn to be humble again, even if you have all the answers
Letting the other person speak is one of the hardest things to do when you’re in a sales conversation.
Because you’ve been told that since you whole-heartedly believe in what you are selling, you should do everything in your power to convince the other person to see it your way…you’re doing the “right thing” for them.
That’s like backing your car into the ocean and saying you didn’t see it.
You don’t have to work so hard, build up so much energy and get ready for battle every time you make a sales call.
The other person would be willing to have a conversation with you if you entered their space with humility and genuine concern
Humility = Openness
Openness creates the exchange of money and services.
5. Take a stand about doing something that you know is not right, get centered and make a change
Don’t make another sales call starting today if your gut is telling you there must be a better way to spend your day without having to feel like your bothering people or inadvertanly stepping into the stereotype of a “salesperson”.
Sure you can still make a lot of many in sales, but you don’t have to sacrifice your soul and others, along the way.
To your success,
Totally agree with you on the above statements and it would be ridiculous of me to do otherwise.
Though I think Authenticity and Sincerity are two different animals.
eg you can fake Sincerity but you cannot fake Authenticity.
One is a quality of being the other is a behaviour,feeling of being a human.
Two different animals, though possibly the two could go together just not sure that you can be sincere and authentic because you definitely can be authentic and not sincere.
Ari you have ‘hit the nail on the head’ people are so busy designing their own fortunes they forget that they are human, and dealing with other human beings.
“Sincere – Characterized by genuine feelings; free from pretence or deceit.”
You cannot sell to people, people must be sold on you and your moral standing – that is my personal opinion.
I just wanted to say thank-you for being part of my life. Unlock The Game has given me permission to be me!
In 2009 myself and the team at Bartercard South West WA took the struggling brokerage from obscurity to taking out Runner Up Regional Brokerage of the Year. Just two sales short of taking out top place!
(Sadly, no prises for second! Just a pat on the head and an email mention!)
Rick I. over at PL&L (Capo Beach, CA) first introduced you to me back before you moved to Australia, and what you do has served me well even though I never totally immersed myself in the mind-set since then. Recently, I changed from a “captive” financial advisor firm, and have become an independent. Part of being captive meant that making sales meant keeping one’s job (stess and strain taking its toll daily). I look forward to dusting off those “Living the Mindset” CDs and commit to mastering a mental way-of-being that leaves myself and people I meet with dignity, yet allows ways to still build authentic relationships. One of your master coaches shared a neat thought that really struck a cord with this former “guerilla” salesperson trained in the adversarial “game” of manipulation: Unlock the Game should actually be called “Forget the Game & Refuse to Play It Anymore!”. Godspeed, Ari!
Fullerton, California, USA
What you said was profound and something
that these people should think about. Thank
you for writing this as more people need to
be aware of this and stop being little
Dead on, Ari. You’ve created a wonderful philosophy and approach that is so needed in the world of business and sales. I’ve been a client of yours for a long time and I’ve never looked back. Keep up the great work!
New York, NY
This is the kind of thinking we have needed for years. Great job Ari for being the first to say what most of us believe deep down inside. You inspire me to become a better human being.