Does authenticity equal results?

I was recently invited to two events – sales presentations by experts in their fields. One presenter was American, the other an Australian. I decided to attend both speakers as I thought it would be interesting to hear the contrasts in the sales approach from an American to an Australian.

Ari Galper is an engaging American speaker who promised to “unlock the sales game”, whilst Naomi Simson is a successful Australian online entrepreneur who is passionate and truly believes in “live what you love.”

Both were busy promoting their new books, and as different as their approaches appeared, “authenticity” was the common link.

Let me start with Ari Galper and share a little of what I got out of his talk.

As a consultant, my goal is to discover whether a prospective client will be a good fit for a long-term partnership and likewise, whether a candidate is a good match for an organisation. “Stop the sales pitch and start a conversation,” Ari said. When you’re stuck in a sales mentality, you’re constantly chasing people. Developing trust amongst your network is a better way to grow business.

Think about sales calls. Customers avoid them like the plague. Whether you’re a wine club, have a credit card offer, or promise washboard abs – unless it’s a product or service we have an immediate need for, we’re often forced to tell white lies to avoid the embarrassment of not buying into the sale.

What about the equally dreaded promise of a ‘follow-up’ call? Ari’s empathic: Remove that phrase from your vocabulary. Change your language, ask for feedback instead. This sets the tone for continuing dialogue, a follow-up without pressure. It also helps customers to reassure them that you can handle rejection. “Take care of people and business will take care of itself” is Ari’s motto. I’ve taken it to heart and I think the speaker at the second event would agree.

Online Entrepreneur Naomi Simson borrowed $25,000 to start her business. When she launched Red Balloon, it was a dreadful website (even by her own admission). Hard to believe, considering she is now an expert in online marketing.

I first met Naomi years ago when Red Balloon was in its infancy and it was great seeing her again after all these years and seeing how successful she has become. Nevertheless, she is cautious about being labelled. “Success means something different to everyone,” she said, “so don’t compare yourself to others.”

Naomi’s wisdom and honest natural style is evident in the way she presents. Her blogs have genuine passion for her subject matter, “to be driven by passion is more likely to bring success than to be driven with no passion”, which flows through to her approach to business. Naomi’s an influencer on LinkedIn and also stars on Shark Tank. If you love what you do, you will experience success because you see it as possible – on the way and not in the way!

If there were an Oprah Winfrey moment at either event, it would be something like… Hey, c’mon guys, we know this stuff!

Which brings me back to being your authentic self. Is it compatible with business? Well, let’s face it. A deal done well involves a true connection. There’s trust between the parties that each will deliver on their promise. Changing the way you sell yourself allows you to be in control of your part. Partnering with someone with similar goals, regardless of their style, presentation or background will achieve that result.

What have you achieved by being authentic @work?