Authenticity in sales – do these two things even go together?

Amidst a world saturated with impersonal sales pitches and aggressive marketing tactics, the concept of authenticity often appears as a distant ideal. The discomforting “ick” associated with traditional sales approaches has led many to regard salespeople with scepticism and hesitation. However, a refreshing shift is underway—one that champions genuine connections, empathy, and a genuine desire to assist, rather than merely sell. Welcome to a new era of sales, where authenticity rightfully claims the spotlight.

The Power of Personal Connection

In the world of business, there’s a timeless truth that bears repeating: people buy from people. This adage has never been truer than it is today. In an era marked by financial uncertainties and cautious spending, establishing genuine connections is paramount. The recent influx of desperate salespeople bombarding us with hasty pitches has only eroded trust further. We’ve all encountered the barrage of emails, LinkedIn messages, and poorly executed sales attempts that have left us sceptical of any approach.

So how can we do it better?


A Shift in Approach: From Selling to Helping

In a landscape where trust has been shaken, the key to successful sales lies in a different approach: helping, not selling. The discomfort often associated with sales—what many refer to as the “ick”—can be dispelled. It’s time to let go of the image of the pushy car salesman and embrace a more authentic and effective approach. Authenticity in sales is about fostering trust by genuinely assisting potential clients, rather than simply pushing products or services. People now gravitate towards those who genuinely assist them, rather than those who simply try to make a sale. This shift in perspective is how you set yourself apart from the competition.

Building Trust Through Online Presence

Your online presence, especially on platforms like LinkedIn, plays a crucial role in building trust. When someone shows interest in what you offer, they’re likely to check out your profile. To establish credibility and trust, it’s essential not only to share content related to your field but also to communicate using the language your potential clients use. This means understanding and addressing their pain points in a relatable way. Think of it as speaking their “symptom language.” Just as someone with a medical issue Googles their symptoms, your clients search for solutions to their specific problems.

Speak Their Language: Using Symptom Language

To effectively communicate with your audience, shift your focus from your own agency speak to their symptom language. Rather than immediately promoting your services, consider addressing the problems you solve for your clients. Understand their needs and frame your content in a way that resonates with them. By doing so, you’ll increase your chances of engaging potential clients and gaining their trust. This approach not only showcases your expertise but also highlights your commitment to authenticity in sales.

Personal Connection in a Digital World

While maintaining a professional image is important, occasionally sharing personal insights can help humanise your online presence. People connect with people, not with company profiles. This human touch enhances authenticity and fosters a sense of connection. It’s worth noting that personal sharing doesn’t require divulging deeply private information; even minor personal anecdotes can create relatable touchpoints.

Navigating the Outsourcing Dilemma

The idea of hiring a business development (BDM) professional or outsourcing sales can be tempting, especially when faced with the complexities of sales. However, it’s important to recognise that finding the right salesperson isn’t easy. While candidates may excel at selling themselves, that doesn’t guarantee success in selling your products. Hiring a BDM can be a lengthy process, and it often involves a substantial investment before yielding significant returns.

Patience and Prudence in Hiring

Bringing a new salesperson on board requires a long-term perspective. While their track record and enthusiasm are important, results may take time. A strong network and industry knowledge can expedite the process, but it’s essential to allow your new hire the time needed to build connections and establish their presence. Rushing this process can lead to unnecessary pressure and expectations. This commitment to authenticity in sales extends to your hiring approach, prioritising the long-term development of your sales team.

Helping Trumps Selling: The Authenticity Advantage

In a landscape where authenticity is prized, prioritising assistance over sales can be your golden ticket. Brainstorm ways to genuinely help your potential clients. Consider sharing resources, insights, or advice that can alleviate their challenges. This approach not only establishes your expertise but also creates a positive impression that resonates. The very essence of authenticity in sales involves a sincere desire to assist and make a meaningful impact on your clients’ businesses.

Stand Out Through Authenticity and Consistency

Standing out in a sea of sameness requires authenticity. Crafting a unique online presence that aligns with who you are and what you offer can set you apart. In the ever-evolving realm of LinkedIn algorithms, adaptability is key. Prepare content in advance to ensure consistent, high-quality posts. Writing in bulk and scheduling posts can alleviate the pressure of frequent content creation and maintain your online consistency. This dedication to authenticity in sales is what will make your voice resonate in a crowded digital space.

Conclusion: The Evolution of Sales

The world of sales is undergoing a transformation. It’s no longer about aggressive pitches and high-pressure tactics. Instead, it’s about forging meaningful connections, addressing client pain points, and being genuinely helpful. This approach, coupled with an authentic online presence and strategic patience, can elevate your sales game and restore trust in the often maligned field of sales. So, embrace this evolution, and let your authenticity shine as you navigate the path to sales success, proving that authenticity in sales is the way forward.

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