Authentic Connection Requires Honest Conversation... Now Think About Your Clients!

larry levine Aug 29, 2022
Authentic Connection Requires Honest Conversation... Now Think About Your Clients!
"No legacy is so rich as honesty."
William Shakespeare

In a business world starving for truthfulness and honesty, what do you wish your legacy to be?

Are you leading your sales life with confident and direct conversation?

I enjoyed reading, "The Business of Honor" by Bob Hasson along with Danny Silk.

There is a style of communication they refer to as being healthy and aligned with the core beliefs and commitments of honor, and this is called assertive conversation.

Key on this especially in a business world where trust is extremely low... "I'm going to tell you the truth about my thoughts, feelings and needs."

Bob Hasson goes onto to say that this demonstrates trust, in that it says, "I'm not going to do anything to try and manipulate or control the way you see me or respond to me."

Healthy conversation like this is mission critical to have that causes the people who really want to know you to trust you, and this would be your clients and future clients.

Key in this from "The Business of Honor",

"Assertive communication fosters trust, safety and belonging. Telling the truth especially difficult truths is one of the main things that causes the people who really want to know us to trust us."

Think about your clients, now reread the quote above.

You see, assertive conversations require connection. When we think of connection, let's refer to Brené Brown,

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”

Think of your clients... Do you believe in your heart that you're creating a space for your clients to feel seen, heard and valued?

Therefore, building authentic connection is the key to effective, long-lasting and meaningful client relationships.

Client relationships will become stronger as you learn to open up.

Without healthy conversations, where do you believe the relationship sits, really?

The struggle for many is when you rely upon scripted questions, you usually get scripted answers, closely resembling a tennis match.

Real conversations require complete participation. It requires you to be present. Genuine healthy conversations are invitations, an invitation to "what is really going on" unfolds during the conversation.

How do you achieve authentic, meaningful, genuine and real conversations with your clients? Quite simple, you let your guard down and stop acting like a salesperson.


To quote, John 8:32 - "The truth will set you free".

There may be times when you feel hesitant about speaking ‘your’ truth…because of the way you think it will be perceived, or to avoid confrontation.

Let's be real for a moment... Spend any amount of time in sales and you will have been faced with those moments, "Do I really share what is going on or do I sugar-coat it to avoid a difficult situation arising?"

Perception is reality through the lens of your clients and future clients. And this is what matters the most.

No matter what the situation, it always works to be truthful, rather than avoiding uncomfortable conversations. Yet, how many in sales avoid these types of conversations?

Brad Blanton, author of Radical Honesty: How to Transform Your Life by Telling the Truth, writes:

"When we reveal more, we have less to hide. When we have less to hide, we are less worried about being found out. When we are less worried about being found out, we can pay better attention to someone else. In this way, telling the truth makes intimacy and freedom possible."

Think about this for a moment... Are you brave enough to start proactive, healthy and assertive conversations that matter? Are you and your clients having break through moments with your conversations?


"Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters."
Margaret Wheatley

Let this quote sink in for a moment as we dive into the difference between reactive and proactive conversations.

Reactive - It’s something you haven’t planned for and something that has caused you to respond in an unforeseen manner. The result is often defensive in nature, after the fact.

Proactive - You prevent problems before they arise. You're answering questions before they ask you. You work with your clients and have open conversation about issues important to the both of you.

Proactive conversations are planned, purposeful and deliver on their promises.

Proactive and purposeful conversations:

Shows You Care — Dedicate the additional time to provide insights and creative ideas for your clients to help them grow their business.

Builds Trust — In a post trust sales world, proactive conversation shows that you are invested in their business growth. Closely monitor your client's business and routinely engage with knowledgeable insights to help them cast vision about their business.

Prevents Future Issues — Make sure there are no surprises. Prevent your clients from "making a mountain out of a molehill". Proactive conversations, healthy or assertive conversations will help you gain a better understanding about your client's needs, wants and desires before they turn into issues.

Here's the deal, if you want to build lasting and impactful relationships with your clients you need to tell them the truth.

Honest, healthy and assertive conversations is obviously an important part of building trust, but honesty is a two-way street.

Not only do you need to speak the truth with your clients; you also need to be willing to hear the truth from them about your business, how you carry yourself and the experience you are providing to them.

“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”
Timothy Ferriss

It is these type of uncomfortable conversations that build your conversational muscle.


A special shout out to my dear friend for this quote,

"High intention, low attachment"
Scott Schilling

Allow these four words to sink in as you interact with your clients.

It takes courage to have assertive, confident and healthy conversations. It also requires practice. The more you seek to connect with your clients in an authentic way, the more you will hone your skills of giving, inviting and releasing (detaching from the outcomes).

To quote Bob Hasson,

"Fostering healthy connection in our business relationships is critical to success, and for this reason, we must be committed to telling the truth, receiving well, and serving well."

How well are you connecting with your clients? And therefore, authentic connections are all about honest conversations, free from lies.

I will leave you all with one more quote from Brad Blanton in "Radical Honesty" as he says,

"We all lie like hell. It wears us out, it is the major source of all human stress… The kind of lying that is most deadly is withholding, or keeping back information from someone we think would be affected by it."

Now think of your conversations, now think of your clients, now think of how they view you.

To honor thy clients is to honor thyself.

Originally published on Larry Levine's LinkedIn

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