hile most of us know that people do business with people they like and trust, very few of us recognize that these two factors, like and trust, can best be communicated in two words; Be Authentic.
The late comedian George Burns once quipped, “Sincerity is the key to any relationship. Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made!” But it’s extremely difficult to fake sincerity. Human beings have a built in sixth sense that, when we’re paying attention, lets us know when someone is not giving us the full picture. We’re hard wired for it in our Primal Reptilian Brain, and its purpose is to alert us when there’s danger in the environment. IE: Don’t do business with this person!
Who you are comes right across the phone, right across the desk, right out from the podium or jumps right out from these written words. You can’t hide it, and if you try, what comes across is insincerity, not the trait you were hoping to communicate. Here’s what your client, prospect or audience is thinking. “I don’t know who he is, but I know who he’s not, and that’s the person he’s pretending to be…I don’t trust him.”
This leads to a very interesting question, “Who are you?” For the Enlightened Entrepreneur, knowing yourself on a very deep level is a prerequisite to being authentic with others. Many sales techniques fail precisely because they are insincere and do not accurately reflect who this person is. This insincerity comes off as manipulative and disrespectful, leading to mistrust on the part of the recipient. Being authentic will get you far more sales than the “best” sales technique ever will.
Similarly, I always recommend keeping two objectives in mind when meeting to do business with other like minded entrepreneurs: First, always meet to give. Whenever you plan to meet with someone, whether on the phone or in person, consciously think, “What can I give this person?” It may be money, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. It could be a small gift (such as a book, CD or DVD), some information, or simply a smile and a compliment. If you’re a professional speaker, make it a point to deliver on the education you promise. There’s nothing worse than someone taking the time to go hear a speaker and end up listening to him promote his book or services for 60 minutes.
Your second objective should be to show them who you are. The principle at work here is that the more I get to know you, the more opportunity I have to like, and therefore, trust you.
In addition, being authentic helps differentiate you in the marketplace and avoid commoditization of your service based solely on price. Presumably no one does exactly what you do in exactly the same way you do it. You just have to be able to articulate it well in the marketplace. Being authentic counts as one of your Unique Selling Points.
Trying to appear like someone you’re not, or posturing, even if it results in some form of leverage, obligation or pressure upon the other person, will never fully develop the trust and likeability needed to conduct business on the highest level you want. On the other hand, getting real, and connecting with others on the level of authenticity and common values, is the quickest way to build trust and allow someone to like and trust you, resulting in more business.
You can develop a meaningful mission by specifically and accurately describing not only what you do and who you do it for, but who you are and what you stand for as well. Show them your passion! Show them your enthusiasm! Show them what you are committed to! People will respect (and even admire) your passion, enthusiasm and commitment, even if it’s not exactly the same as theirs.
Being authentic works in personal communications too. If you want to attract your soul mate, be authentic. Because sooner or later, your true self is going to show up. Emerson once said, “Who you are shouts so loudly in my ears, I cannot hear what you say.”
So whether you are trying to cut a deal, impress an audience, attract a new client or find your soul mate, be authentic! It’s the shortest route to developing long-term, successful relationships. Be authentic, because success is a state of mind.
Max Bolka, author, consciousness-based business & personal financial advisor, and Ayurvedic stress management consultant likes to be thought of as someone who builds "enlightened entrepreneurs.”
For information, including his free monthly "Bolkabits E-tips," visit www.maxbolka.com, call 828-299-7038, or email firstname.lastname@example.org © Copyright 2011 Max Bolka. Reproduction in any form by written permission only.