Like so many words used in sales related content, there is a lot of talk about the importance of authenticity – but rarely is it explained or illustrated.
I don’t pretend to be any kind of an authenticity expert, but having seen the word used so often, I decided to write this week about what it means to me by recalling a revelation I had about personal authenticity in sales very early in my own career.
I TRIED ALMOST EVERYTHING ONCE – INCLUDING THIS
If you read much of what I write, you know that I wasn’t a natural born salesperson and that success came to me through education, effort, engagement, and experimentation.
In other words, I tried a lot of things.
In fact, early on, I swore to try almost anything that sounded remotely reasonable at least once.
Back in the early 1990‘s, when I was first starting out in sales, the then very popular and trendy concept of “mirroring” came to my attention, so I looked into it (NOTE: this was well before NLP became a thing in sales).
In case you are not familiar with the idea, mirroring is a concept built on the idea people like to buy from people they know, like and trust combined with the idea that we know, like and trust those who are most like us.
Based on that, the concept of “mirroring” suggests that if your prospect talks fast, you should talk fast; if they used big words, you should use big words; If they leaned in, you should lean in, etc.
Sounded reasonable – as it was explained to me by some well-respected sales experts – so I tried it.
And I hated it. It just wasn’t me.
After one or maybe two extremely uncomfortable attempts, I clearly remember hanging up the phone and swearing then and there that for the rest of my career, I was going to be David Masover as aggressively as possible.
If I repelled people because of it, then it just saved a bunch of time in the long run.
If I connected with someone, then that would only build over time, and not based on anything contrived.
…and I’ve been nothing but the “authentic me” ever since – for better and for worse.
SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
Now – more than 20-years later – I still sell, but I also create a lot of content, like this piece of writing right here.
When I see what other content creators do in places I post like LinkedIn, I see that many are different in their approach, and some who are quite different in their approach than me are very popular and seemingly successful.
But it doesn’t matter. They need to be them, and I need to be me.
Just like you need to be you, in sales and everywhere.
BE YOURSELF, BUT GROW YOURSELF
But please realize, “be your authentic self” isn’t the same as saying you are stuck being who you are now.
It’s OK – even critically important – to make efforts to explore yourself more deeply. For me, that means meditation, reading, thinking a lot about how to do things the “David Masover” way, and other growth simulating practices so that I can be successful in helping others and in turn furthering my own goals.
Too many try to be like Keenan, or Grant Cardone, or The Wolf of Wall Street.
It’s a fool’s errand to try to be like someone else.
Be yourself, and keep working to make yourself better.
It’s a lot easier than faking it. You’ll feel better about it, and you’ll attract to you what fits best for you.
Build on that by working to make yourself better over time, and what you attract will keep getting better too.