In A World Full Of Sales Emptiness, Radical Authenticity Will Keep You Cemented At The Top.

larry levine Aug 21, 2023
In A World Full Of Sales Emptiness, Radical Authenticity Will Keep You Cemented At The Top.
"Integrity is congruence between what you know, what you profess, and what you do."
Nathaniel Branden

In a 2018 White Paper produced by the Dale Carnegie Research Institute titled, "Trust is Dead. Long Live Trust! Why Long-Term Customer Loyalty is Still Driven by Trusted Relationships".

They interviewed more than 1,600 customers around the world. They asked them how they would describe trust in their salesperson and the top two answers to the open-end question, “How would you define trust?” centered on two themes: “I can believe them, they are honest, credible and knowledgeable” (50%), and “They are looking out for my best interest and providing value” (25%).

Here's the mirror moment...

Are you truly being honest, credible and knowledgeable? Or just for deal's sake?

Do you truly have your client's best interest at heart and are you providing value? Or just for deal's sake?

Heavy stuff to reflect upon, isn't it?

When it comes to authenticity, Dr. Lance Secretan one of the world’s top authorities on inspirational leadership, a trailblazing teacher, advisor and expert on corporate culture, once said that authenticity is the “alignment of head, mouth, heart and feet – thinking, saying and doing the same thing consistently.”

A consummate sales professional consistently matches their words with their actions. In doing so, this process builds trust and earns them credibility. Trust is earned when they're able to both walk the walk and talk the talk.

We are all familiar with the old saying, "Talk is cheap." We can agree, you can say anything you want to, but your words become meaningless unless backed up by your actions.

It concerns me that we’ve become a society where truth is foreign and lies are normal.

Applied to sales, just because you say something really doesn’t mean anything at all. You see, any salesperson can talk, but it takes a sales professional of character, integrity and wholesomeness to follow through in their actions.

Sales professionals use language to communicate their vision, values and beliefs, however; it's their actions that ultimately determine the validity of their words.

You cannot consistently perform at a high level in sales without committing to doing the hard work of building trust, credibility and alignment.

In a post-trust world, when the walk doesn't match the talk, many in sales will revert to price discounting as their means of providing so-called value.

Check this out,

"71% of respondents said they would rather buy from a salesperson they completely trusted than one who gave them a lower price."
Dale Carnegie Research Institute

Let's pause for a moment to answer the following questions:

Does your walk consistently match your talk?

The way you carry yourself online, does it match the way you carry yourself offline?

The way you carry yourself out in the community, does it match the way you carry yourself with your clients?

Do I have you thinking a bit?

Are you carrying yourself in a congruent state to best serve your clients?" Most people will talk the talk, few will walk the walk; be amongst the few."
Dr. Steve Maraboli

I ask you to think about your client relationships. Does the walk consistently match the talk?

I believe trust can be earned or lost through your actions.

Think about this one... How many of your clients are watching your actions or for that matter your in-actions?

Please key in on this...

If your actions are not congruent with what you say, then how legitimate are you through the lens of your clients' eyes?

If your clients are massively important to you and you value building meaningful relationships with them, then you must spend quality time cementing those relationships.

Radical amounts of authenticity are simply about being congruent. It's not about the big actions, it's simply about the little things.


"Be congruent, be authentic, be your true self."
Mahatma Gandhi

Derived from the Latin word “congruere”, which means ‘to meet’ or ‘to agree’, congruence is the point at which your principles and beliefs align with your thoughts and actions. 

For a moment, let's apply congruency to how one carries themselves. This now becomes someone who acts in direct accordance with their dreams, desires, beliefs, values, mission and goals. 

They do not let the thoughts of others affect their approach to the world. They forge their own unique path paved by their deep understanding of themselves.

There's a deep feeling of ingrained trust from someone who is congruent.

Congruency is a magnet. Clients will consistently buy more and more and more from congruent sales professionals.

I believe congruency leads to connection, deep conversation and attraction. I ask you to think about how salespeople are perceived, and where trust sits inside the sales world, now think about what it means to be congruent.

When you're your authentic self you have no competition.

To feel genuinely fulfilled, you must live with congruency.

To rise above the many empty suits out there, you must be willing to stand up above all others. This can only happen when you commit to leading a radically authentic lifestyle.

When it comes to standing up, I'm reminded of the old adage and a country song by Aaron Tippin (released in 1991), You've Got to Stand for Something

As he goes on to sing...

You've got to be your own man, not a puppet on a string

Never compromise what's right and uphold your family name

You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything

Sales professionals do not fall for anything.
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You must...

Fully understand what is it that you stand for and what you're passionate about, and then start delivering this to the lives of your clients and future clients.

When you're congruent, amazing things start to happen:

  1. Your confidence soars
  2. Your desire to make a difference dramatically increases
  3. You feel at peace
  4. Things just start to fall into place for you

Congruency means doing the work. It's about uncovering what makes you tick. You might call this unpacking your WHY and unpacking your purpose. You must be willing to do the work.

To make this happen, you must be willing to do two things...

  1. Understand what it is you stand for and are passionate about adding to this world.
  2. Set your life up so you can act in line with these beliefs on a daily consistent basis.
The more you know about yourself the more you grow with yourself... Allow congruency to become something that changes your life.
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Throughout life and especially in sales, your congruency will be tested.

Think about all the incongruent, mismatched and misaligned moments that happen or for that matter you observe in any given day, week or month.

Often, we do what we are told (think of all the sales meetings and misaligned sales training), and we continue these patterns repeatedly without giving it much thought. Doesn't this sound a lot like sales autopilot?

"Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision."
Tony Robbins

What will you commit to?

Let's be real with each other, selling is an emotional rollercoaster. It will tug on your heart and wear on your mind. However, to be truly fulfilled in sales, you must act from a place of congruency.

To be congruent, who you are, what you say, and what you do must be aligned.

Hear me out on this one, spend any amount of time in sales and you will have been faced with scenario of "what is right versus what is wrong", actions and behaviors.

When you find your heart and mind being pulled in opposite directions, or when your deeds collide with your thoughts; your body senses it and you start to experience the effects of being incongruent.

Stress, inner conflict and disease thrive when congruence is threatened. I know you all get what I am cooking because everyone of us has experienced it.

Maintaining your congruency leads to a sense of integrity, authenticity, and trustworthiness. It's the foundational aspect of effective communication and building meaningful connections with your clients and future clients.

With trust and credibility constantly being challenged, I encourage you to practice congruency as you lead your life in an authentic manner.

E.E. Cummings wrote,

"To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."

Never forget this... to know thyself is to value thyself.


“Each one of us was put on this planet to discover their own path, and we will never be happy if we follow someone else’s.”
James Van Praagh

Congruent people show themselves just as they are, without offering variation to how they currently feel.

Congruent sales professionals generate more trust.

Someone who lives with congruency carries themselves in direct accordance with their vision, dreams, values, mission, beliefs and goals.

What values, standards and rules are you leading your life by? Can these be applied to your sales career? I absolutely believe they can.

Will you commit to leading a congruent lifestyle?

Will you carve out your own unique path paved by a deep understanding of you?

The road to self-discovery will unlock a treasure trove of opportunities. This could be one of the single hardest things you do.

Simply put, congruent people are brave because we live in a society which hasn’t taught us to show our feelings or as salespeople in how to place these up onto the business table.

As we draw our time together to a close, please allow yourself a few moments to reflect on the following...

  • What inspires you?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What is your personal mission statement?
  • What are your core set of values?

In today's post-trust world, starting on the path of congruence is no laughing matter. It implies a pact of honesty with yourself, and this is very important.

It becomes hard to trust someone who acts in a way that’s different to how they think. It becomes difficult to trust someone who shows an image of themselves that is contrary to how they truly feel.

I will ask you again... Does your walk match your talk?

When your actions match your values, it gives your clients and future clients the confidence that you lead authentically and act with integrity. And isn't this what you want?

This my friends creates sales sustainability.

Originally published on Larry Levine's LinkedIn.

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