I was recently on LinkedIn when I noticed a post by a Director of Sales talking about how he sees new reps turn into robots when they are new to sales…
And they stop being themselves.
This brought up an interesting point.
I’ve definitely noticed this in my progression as a salesperson.
I remember when I first started my real B2B sales job…
I was 24 years old and the youngest rep hired at the time.
Literally everyone there had “more experience” than I did…
But you see,
Sales is not one of those careers that cares much about your “experience.”
It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve “put in,”
…If you still suck.
If you’ve sucked at sales for 20 years, after 20 years….
That doesn’t mean you’re any better of a salesperson.
My point is,
What matters more is drive, the desire to learn and improve…
The ability to be authentic and build trust,
And the genuine desire to help others.
When I started out in professional sales…
Calling on Directors and VP’s at Fortune 1000 companies…
I had this thought that I had to be more “professional.”
So I made my emails all formal sounding, and wordy-as-fuck.
I sounded like a fucking robot – all my words had extra syllables added to them.
It’s okay to sound more professional – BUT
There is a fine line between sounding professional and being rigid and not being yourself.
When you’re selling to corporate professionals, it’s okay to “sound professional” and use their lingo…
But you have to understand the fine line between doing that, and being aware of when you’re being too rigid and not being yourself.
After about 2 years on the job, I realized that I was sounding way too formal in my emails and calls, and gave myself permission to just chill out and be more laid back.
I gave myself permission to just be myself more.
My emails got shorter.
They started to sound like how I actually talk.
And you know what?
I started getting more responses to my emails.
My customer conversations went smoother.
I began to get more confident…
And my sales started to go up.
I became one of the top reps in a market that was incredibly difficult to sell to-
A “nice to have” product to Procurement Professionals.
And whose primary job it is to save money.
It was then when I had an epiphany:
The more that I let myself be myself, the more successful I became.
I realized this was true in every area of life…
The less I “tried to be” something, the more often it worked.
It was then that I realized that sometimes growth is not about adding more…
Sometimes growth means subtracting…
Taking away the masks of who we think we’re supposed to be.
Maybe you think you’re “supposed” to be this rigid-professional, and you notice yourself being robotic…
Maybe you think you’re “supposed” to be this macho-douchebag with this tough exterior…
Fuck that. Stop that.
Authenticity wins, being real will always win.