How do you want your customers to see you? In business, many professionals have a “work persona,” especially when dealing with clients. They go to extra effort to look and sound a certain way, often acting much differently than their natural personality. You might think this is what your customers want, but in full honesty, it’s easy to see through a false façade.
So, what are people really looking for when they do business with you? Honesty, integrity and loyalty come to mind. As our lives become more and more virtual, we long for genuine human connection. It has become about more than just seeking a product or service. People want an experience—and one that is honest and authentic.
So, what is authenticity, anyway? To put it simply, being authentic means staying true to who you are and being honest and straightforward about what you do and why. It is one of the most profitable sales tools you can have and here’s why:
Transparency = Trust
People buy from businesses (and salespeople) they like, know and trust—bottom line. They want to know you and what you stand for before they pass their hard-earned dollars over. In fact, the 2012 Edelman goodpurpose ® Study concluded that when quality and price are equal, the most important factor influencing brand choice is purpose. In other words, consumers are buying from businesses that share why they do what they do.
So, be transparent by sharing your personality, family stories, upcoming plans and favorite shows when talking one-on-one with customers. Even consider working fun anecdotes into your website and social media. It helps create a human connection and confidence that you mean your clients
In a sea of hundreds of options, you need to stand out like a beacon in the night. Sharing your authentic self is a quick way to do just that. You’re no longer on an equal playing field with the others when you’re the first to pop into your client’s mind.
Create a memorable experience for your customers by sharing your personality and building relationships by asking about their lives. When they go to purchase, you’ll be the first person they think of.
Draw in Your Ideal Customer
You might be thinking, “I’m going to scare away potential clients by being too casual.” Au contraire, you will be attracting exactly your target client—with ease! The stiff, overly professional business persona of the past truly doesn’t bring in customers. If that has worked for you in the past, it was likely due to your business’ offerings and had nothing to do with the persona you presented.
With an authentic personality, you will bring in people who want to build a long-lasting relationship with you, who relate to you and who enjoy the rapport you’ve developed—and in greater numbers.
So, how do you incorporate more of your authentic self into your business? That will depend largely on your personality. A good place to start is by spending the first few minutes of any meeting or sale by making conversation. Perhaps ask how their summer was and share one of your favorite summer memories. Or share a story about your spouse, cabin, golf outing or charitable organization.
Just slowly start to reveal your personal life to your customers. You’ll find that not only is it enjoyable, but it warms the sale to an incredible degree.