Authenticity Is Not A Sales Strategy

by | 4 minute read

"Be authen­tic" has become the most tossed around and over-used cliché in the world of busi­ness and sales. Authen­tic­i­ty is not a sales strat­e­gy!

Every day, pro­fes­sion­als are told that they need to be authen­tic in their sell­ing endeav­ors. Pro­grams, pod­casts, books, webi­na­rs, and con­fer­ences devot­ed to teach­ing peo­ple how to sell authen­ti­cal­ly are a dime a dozen. Gurus suck peo­ple in by shout­ing and tout­ing, fol­low me on the path to clos­ing more sales by being your­self and sell­ing with authen­tic­i­ty.

Being authentic is a hyped-up way of saying be real, genuine, truthful, direct, honest, open, sincere.

When did that become a unique approach? Isn’t that what we are all sup­posed to do? Authen­tic­i­ty is not some inno­v­a­tive new busi­ness strat­e­gy. Being sin­cere and direct is not a fresh and mod­ern sales tac­tic. Being hon­est in the sales process is not a con­tem­po­rary con­cept. Authen­tic­i­ty is, how­ev­er, a bril­liant buzz­word that makes pro­fes­sion­als believe that all they need to do is show up, be nice, and be them­selves, and they will have a boom­ing busi­ness and a bulging bot­tom line. Not so fast!

Of course, you need to be authentic in sales. 

You are sup­posed to be authen­tic in life as well. It is imper­a­tive that you sell from a gen­uine place. But attract­ing clients and clos­ing sales requires you to show up with some­thing more than you just being you. Being authen­tic isn’t enough to close busi­ness and con­vert inter­est­ed prospects into pay­ing clients. Sell­ing requires a strong skill set, a sol­id strat­e­gy, and a deep under­stand­ing of how peo­ple buy and what they need from you to make a con­fi­dent buy­ing deci­sion.

The bad busi­ness advice of just be authen­tic leaves pro­fes­sion­als scratch­ing their heads. Hey, uni­verse, I’m radi­at­ing authen­tic­i­ty, why is no one buy­ing from me? Okay, I’ve been authen­tic all month, and I still have no clients. Heck, I’m ooz­ing authen­tic­i­ty, and peo­ple keep telling me that they need to think it over and that they have no mon­ey.

Let’s get real. You’re either authen­tic or you’re not. If you’re not a gen­uine per­son in real life, you can’t act like you are in sales. You can’t pre­tend authen­tic­i­ty, and you can’t turn it on and off when you’re sell­ing. 

Nothing is more inauthentic than someone who is trying to be authentic.

For exam­ple, you may be the most authen­tic CPA, den­tist, attor­ney, or finan­cial plan­ner on the plan­et, but if you lack the abil­i­ty to high­light your val­ue and exper­tise or you are miss­ing the skills that build trust and facil­i­tate a con­fi­dent buy­ing deci­sion, I don’t give a rip how authen­tic you are. Authen­tic­i­ty only gets you so far. I want to work with some­one who pos­sess­es stel­lar skills in their field, skills that pair up nice­ly with authen­tic­i­ty.

Authenticity sells, but only when you learn how to sell in a way that suits your personality and style. 

When you devel­op the sales lan­guage, mind­set, and skills that build high-trust rela­tion­ships and inspire oth­ers to make a buy­ing deci­sion that feels right to them, you will be seen as authen­tic. No need to turn it on because that is who you are.

If selling is difficult for you, you are doing it wrong. 

If you feel out of align­ment when you’re sell­ing, you are doing it wrong. It feels unpleas­ant and inau­then­tic because you have not been taught to sell in a way that res­onates with you and makes you feel good. It is up to you to devel­op this skill if you intend to stay in busi­ness.

When you learn how to sell in a way that suits your personality and style, you will be perceived as authentic.

When you devel­op the sales skills that build trust and inspire oth­ers to make a buy­ing deci­sion that feels right to them, you will be known as some­one who cares and has the best inter­ests of the client in mind.

In sales and in life, you must be real. You must be your­self. You must show up as gen­uine. You must know who you are. When you are in a sell­ing sit­u­a­tion, don’t just be your­self, be your high­est and best self. Bring the self who pos­sess­es supe­ri­or sales skills and who under­stands how to gen­uine­ly build trust and hon­est­ly inspire some­one to say yes to doing busi­ness with you. How refresh­ing is that?

You close more busi­ness when you learn to sell in a way that you can embrace and dupli­cate day after day. Watch out when you do. Prospec­tive clients will be able to see your authen­tic­i­ty a mile away.

Liz Wendling
Liz Wendling, Sales Strate­gist and Social Sell­ing Coach assists indi­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies on how to make a pro­found dif­fer­ence in the way they sell and com­mu­ni­cate with their poten­tial clients. Her insight will get you sell­ing com­fort­ably and suc­cess­ful­ly. Peo­ple hire Liz to put their sales rev­enues back on track and start earn­ing the mon­ey they deserve and desire.people in dis­cov­er­ing their own sig­na­ture sell­ing style that is com­fort­able for them­selves and the cus­tomer. Her exten­sive busi­ness and sales back­ground and a pas­sion for help­ing peo­ple suc­ceed has led her to be rec­og­nized as one of the top sales and busi­ness coach­es around. Whether it is for one-on-one con­sult­ing, group coach­ing, mul­ti­ple day train­ing or work­shops, Liz will work with you to cus­tomize pro­grams around your spe­cif­ic needs, chal­lenges and objec­tives. She is enter­tain­ing, infor­ma­tive and fun and will push you to become your best.