A Word about Authenticity


Yesterday one of my people sent a letter in the form of an email to an exec at a Fortune 500 Company. The letter was a true and authentic representation of the current sales opportunity and a request for a meeting to discuss. While I won’t post the actual letter, I will post the “teachable moment” text of the email I sent to my team forwarding the letter.



The longer I do this the more I realize that people respond to authenticity; not the latest “talk track”. This letter that Chris wrote to an exec at Company X is a perfect example of being honest and transparent with someone about the truth of the situation. Everything in this email is absolutely and unequivocally true. It got a positive response within 5 minutes of being sent and now we have a face to face meeting with this exec on Wednesday. Customers are tired of the constant barrage of nonsense (aka bullshit) that software salespeople are doling out; a special discount THIS MONTH ONLY. (You won’t get it next month–yeah right). It is just one gimmick after another to them. I know I’m guilty of it too. But almost every time the truth is tried it gets you further down the road. These people aren’t stupid. They have seen it all before. And frankly, I’m tired of treating them like they are. Honesty and transparency are a breath of fresh air in the ocean of insincerity and inauthenticity that our technology sales culture breeds.

Top 5 Reasons That You Might Suck at Sales

#5) You’re Lazy

You “fell into” sales because you believed there was no structure or rigorous discipline required.  And while there is no one telling you when to get your sorry ass out of bed, or watching you when you clock out after lunch, there is a structure and discipline that is required for successful selling; especially today.  If you don’t have the gumption to create this structure and discipline for yourself, for God’s sake get someone to help you.

#4) You Speak Like a Moron

If every phrase or sentence that comes out of your pie hole is an overused metaphor, buzzword, or analogy, then you need to relearn how to speak.  After all, if you want to be on the same page, hit the ground running, and have your ducks in a row, then you need to zoom out to a 30,000 foot view and realize that your buyers have seen this movie before.  They’ve seen all the robust, seamless, cutting edge, actionable, and epic products and solutions out there.  If this sounds like you then you need to reach out to someone for help.


#3) You Don’t Care About Buyers’ Goals and Objectives

Being in sales presupposes that you have high economic values.  However, if all you care about is YOUR financial gain then you are wasting your buyer’s time AND you won’t achieve your goal.  The current buyers’ landscape requires that sellers have a vested interest in the outcome of their buyers.  While not caring about the buyers’ outcome may have short term success, you will eventually be found out.  The law of Karma is amplified in a hyperconnected world.  If this describes you then you need help reconnecting with WHY you are doing what you are doing.  Get help please.

#2) You are not prepared

Because of #5 and #3, you don’t bother to prepare.  You believe that your looks, charm and ability to think on your feet will win the day.  Buyers aren’t impressed.  Not only do you have to understand your buyer’s business but you have to add something to their understanding of their business. You have to change their minds about how they view their business.  This requires preparation.  If you don’t know how to effectively prepare for a buyer engagement then please get some help.

#1) You are Completely Full of **it

There is absolutely no connection between who you are and what you do.  Some call this a lack of congruence.  I call it living a lie.  Your buyer calls it an endless and unrelenting stream of BS.  Breaking through in this selling environment requires authenticity.  That means being in true alignment with why you are doing what you are doing.  It also means being in true alignment with your buyers’ goals and objectives which, in most cases, occur AFTER you close the transaction.

If you are afflicted by these symptoms don’t be too hard on yourself.  These symptoms are the result of years of poor instruction and bad conditioning.  It takes real commitment and courage to eradicate them from your life.  If you or someone you know are plagued by these issues please do us all a favor, and reach out for help.