Being Authentic in Sales

The Authentic Real You

The Real You

If you work in sales — in ANY aspect of sales — you are likely always looking for ways to better connect with your customers or clients and sell more. Selling is all about connecting. Connecting with those who become your customers is the only way you can get that trust you need to make the sale. Being the ‘Real Authentic You’ is the key to success!

Sales people who are seen as authentic tend to me more successful than those that hide behind a mask (facade).  They inspire their customers, build relationships and customers trust them.  But what does being ‘authentic’ really mean? Here I explore this complex and often misunderstood area of sales, and look at how to balance personality with professionalism.

Are you guilty of wearing a mask at work to hide the real you?

Have you ever felt that there’s a part of your personality that you keep to yourself? That, for one reason or another, you don’t reveal to other people, as much as sometimes you’d love to let it loose? Perhaps it’s out of fear of judgement. Or it could even be down to the ideals that society has projected onto you about how you should or should not behave.

This part of your personality that’s hiding within, waiting to be set free is your ‘authentic self’.

The Imposter (the person you are showing to the world)

Many of us adopt a more professional persona in the workplace, behaving differently to how we would at home. During our careers we are told to behave ‘professionally’, but what does that actually mean?  Does it mean that we become someone else at work – the imposter? 

The imposter syndrome has derived from our feeling that we need to conform to a pattern of behaviour that fits in with the organisational culture?  This often means that we are behaving in-authentically as an imposter at work.  Therefore when we leave our place of work we take off our mask and revert to other alter ego and our true authentic self with our acquaintances, friends and family?

Customers are demanding ‘Authentic’ sales personnel

Nowadays, customers are demanding more authentic sales personnel.  They want to be treated with respect, and build relationships and/or rapport with sales people who are genuine and not scared to reveal their more sensitive human side.

How authentic you can be very much depends on the organisation and people you work with.  So, the extent to which you reveal yourself needs to be carefully considered as you can potentially damage your reputation and credibility. For example, in organisations where there is a culture of hard sell and the sales personnel are expected to be ruthless in order to achieve sales then revealing your weaknesses can be career suicide.”

Taking the need to be authentic too far can prove dangerous for some people.

Where they often go wrong is making the mistake of bringing their ‘raw authenticity’ to work. Letting raw emotions come through depending on how they feel at any given time, such as ranting and raging one minute, happy or grumpy the next, can be dangerous. Being too honest and ‘saying it as it is’ can lead to the customer feeling attacked and/or vulnerable.  Using intimidating tactics to win a sale can leave the customer feeling forced into buying from you leading to resentment.  The effect this will have is that you are potentially likely to lose repeat business.

Authenticity is an Emotion

Authenticity is an emotional rather than rational response and we all know that emotion is the driving force behind sales decisions.  You could have the best product on the market but if you are not able to connect with your customer it is likely that the customer will walk away.  However if you make them feel valued, important and their core values are met, they will buy from you.

Authentic people are careful about the emotions they put on display and keep emotions that can elicit a negative response from others  – such as anger – under wraps. They are also emotionally intelligent which means they are able to understand themselves as well as the impact they have on others.

Furthermore, as a rule, authentic people tend to be genuine, transparent and trustworthy, display a strong moral code and can be counted on to keep their word. This is extremely important for sales personnel.

In addition, those who are able to display their human side are more likely to win hearts and souls, and get them on side, than someone who is aloof and doesn’t let their guard down”.  But it’s important to be consistent, or your actions will be viewed with suspicion. “You basically need to be aware of how you come across to others.

Authentic people are aware of what drives and motivates them, are reasonably comfortable with their feelings, and acknowledge that they too have flaws and are prepared to work on them.

Getting Started

If you want to be an authentic and successful salesperson, you must put in some hard work to find out more about yourself – who you are, what you are about – and increase your level of emotional intelligence.

So how do you develop such self-awareness?

Engaging a professional coach is one way forward. Ensure you engage a coach that understands and empathises with what you are trying to achieve. My book, Behind the Mask’, and associated results-driven coaching programme, seek to help salespeople. It offers a life-changing impact on the way you think and act. It’s easy to read and follow, and will help you discover your true self, the mask you wear and why you wear it. Furthermore, it is full of practical advice and techniques that will help you overcome the walls you’ve built through your life that limit both your potential success and your happiness.

Seven reasons why it’s important to be authentic in sales

1.         Your Customers can feel when you are Genuine

Being genuine can’t be faked. Customers can tell when you are seriously interested in the product or service you are selling.

2.         You Won’t Seem Like a Salesperson

As a general rule, people don’t particularly like salespeople. If you are being yourself, instead of being a sales machine, you are going to seem like an interested party who wants to HELP this customer, not like a salesman who is looking for another commission.

3.         You Can’t Fail

No sales person will make every sale. It’s practically impossible. However, when you’re being yourself you’re not going to fail. You are always going to succeed at being you. The more experience you have in sales, the easier it will be to get those conversions without losing yourself in the process.

4.         Don’t try to please everyone

Trying to please everyone is an impossible task as no matter what you do or say there will always be someone out there who will judge you. 

5.         Acknowledge your own limitations and your products strengths and gaps

What’s the best way to sell authentically? Start by acknowledging your own limitations as a salesperson. You also need to sell the benefits of your product or service but also be willing to share its limitations.

6.         Be truthful and authentic

Admitting when you don’t have all the answers can feel counterintuitive as a salesperson. After all, you spend so much time perfecting your sales pitch to highlight your product’s strengths. Like everyone else, buyers appreciate authenticity – your self-awareness makes you human and credible.

7.         Be willing to make a change and admit to your mistakes.

Embrace your imperfections and share these with others by acknowledging unpleasant truths about yourself.

If you are determined to be successful in Sales and want to be identified as an ‘Authentic Sales person’ then what are you waiting for. Take action and call me today on 07702 8188665. For more information on my book –

ISM Marketing Manager – Adam Brook