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Authenticity & Vulnerability – The Dating World of Sales

A man and two women looking over a sales deal on a computer smiling.

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This past year, we have all been rubbed a little raw. Expectations have been changed and what’s “normal” continues to change. Who knows what else tomorrow will bring? As salespeople, we have needed to adapt to a new level of being personable, understanding, and authentic. For many of us, it will take us back to our dating days. 

Keep reading to learn three tips salespeople should follow to be successful. 

Be personable.

Being personable isn’t always easy. As salespeople, we know this all too well. Some days are harder than others. Some customers are harder to connect with, but when trust is obtained, they will look to you as an expert. So here is one tip that will help you be personable: Ask get-to-know-you questions. 

I know, I know, get-to-know-you questions? Really? Before you disregard this, I am speaking from experience when I say that I have seen deals close because of mutual trust between two parties. I promise that making a connection with people on a personal level will build that mutual trust. 

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Be understanding.

It is difficult to be understood as a salesperson—especially because of the stigma around being a “salesman.” I think many people instantly think a salesperson fits the typical used car salesman stereotype. They think, “They are just trying to make a buck off of me.” 

Salespeople need to recognize this stigma and make people feel like people! It’s a strange concept, but many of us struggle with not fitting those stereotypes. So, what do we do? We start by understanding our customers in the most “us” way. For example, my husband is from the South, and he has a unique way of finding other people from there and becoming instant buddies with them. 

You have those same experiences, interests, and authenticity to create understanding between the two of you. Who you are is exactly what you need to gain an understanding of one another. Not only that, but understanding and authenticity get easier and easier the more you do it.

Be authentic.

For some of us—and I think most of us—being authentic is scary. In a way, it means being vulnerable to a complete stranger. So, before we tackle a scary topic, let us first take a moment to talk about environment. To be authentic, the people involved need to feel comfortable. Again, it’s like dating. There are a few things that are important: common threads between the two of you, laughter, and trust. When you have these, it will become more natural to be authentic, and it feels a lot less scary.

The question remains: How do we get used to creating an environment to be authentic? If you haven’t yet seen a theme here, it is to find common ground, and there is an easy way to make it happen. Practice! There are three recommendations that I have seen firsthand work for salespeople: 

  1. Talk with your team members about their successes and failures. This will help you get a better idea of how to phrase questions, be understanding, and level up your sales ability. 
  2. Get to know strangers. This means asking waiters, cashiers, and others “connecting” questions. Getting to know people in a low-risk environment is an excellent way to get practice, and the more practice you can get, the better. 
  3. Lastly, talk with experts.

Consider the MarketStar approach.

For many of you reading this, your mentors are the experts you should be talking to about their tactics and strategy to be authentic. Talk with them about your struggles. Do not be afraid to be vulnerable. I know it is scary, but you will grow so much faster. 

At MarketStar, we are charged with creating relationships as clients, as MarketStar employees, and as our own personal brands. We have been building relationships for more than 30 years, and we know how to grow our people, which, in turn, grows the business for our clients exponentially. 

We create relationships here at MarketStar. If you want to find out how we do this, consider talking with us or subscribing to our blog. 

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