Beyond the Script: How to Sell with Authenticity
”I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou
You’ll never meet your full potential in sales by reciting a lifeless script. A great salesperson is all about authenticity. The way they communicate is natural. It’s real, it’s responsive. Sneaky sales tactics are cold and deceptive.
Yes, a script is a great tool for training. And yet, I find most are scared to ditch the script even after they complete their training. There’s definitely a comfort in being told what to say and when to say it, but that doesn’t mean going by script is better or easier. In fact, constantly consulting a script or overthinking every word you say is exhausting. There’s great freedom in trusting yourself, learning to be yourself and tapping into your natural potential.
Many of us have learned to mirror our prospects, reflecting their body language and choice of words back to them. But it’s easy to become wrapped up in mirroring and lose yourself in the process. Your prospects know instinctively how to spot inauthenticity. You don’t need to trick people into trusting you, and I recommend that you NEVER do that. There’s authenticity and there’s integrity. Keep both close to you, always.
We’ll talk about integrity in sales another time, right now, I’ll provide the steps you can take to make authenticity a practice in your daily life:
If you want to truly connect with your clients, you need to tap into what you’ve been told since you were a kid. Just be yourself.
You don’t have to be an expert speaker. Stay true to your values and allow your sales message to have your unique imprint on it. Your personality is what makes you you. You don’t have to compromise yourself to make a sale.
Have more fun.
Just because it’s work, doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Your clients can sense the difference between when you are using tired sales techniques and when you’re genuine. Loosen up. Take time to enjoy the conversation. When you treat your clients like people you value and enjoy, they’re more likely to come back. And you’re more likely to build real relationships.
Tap into your natural curiosity.
I am a naturally curious person, and people fascinate me. So when I chat with people I like to ask them questions, learn about them, and take notice of the little things they say (and how they say it). Taking an interest in others opens the door to great conversations and great conversations often lead to closing deals. Remembering a personal detail or sharing a personal story can make the time your clients spend with you feel special and memorable.
Don’t forget that someone likes you. Your partner, your employer — they picked you. Why wouldn’t they? You’re awesome, so be confident.
You don’t need to chameleon your way to success. If you’re concerned that being yourself would lead to judgment or hurt your sales, then take a deeper look into why you think that. Have you actually tried, or have you been too paralyzed by fear to even try?
You can’t fail when you’re being yourself. There’s someone for everyone, and being yourself will help attract the right clients — clients you enjoy working with.
Keep your values at the forefront and don’t lose yourself just to make a sale. Authenticity is about tapping into your true self and learning how to leverage your strengths to communicate effectively. That’s the real connection your prospects are looking for.