Noted Nobel prize recipient, Albert Camus, is quoted as saying “We are what we do.” What this means is our actions are very much integrated into who we are. What a potentially frightening thought.
Take selling or sales for example. What type of salesperson are you? You can choose from a plethora of sales styles from relationship builder to collaborative to technical or knowledgeable to high pressure or “closers” or just the opposite of the back door or reluctant one.
Now consider matching your selling style to how you actually buy.
Is your buying behavior in alignment with your sales style?
Does there exist a disconnect between the your selling and buying approaches?
Could this gap affective how people perceive your authenticity?
For example, maybe your style is a relationship builder. Your goal is to build and maintain strong relationships with your potential customers, existing clients and even centers of influence. Now when you make a purchase, you may have a tendency to interact with the employees in the business such as when you take your vehicle in for some maintenance. Instead of just sitting and reading a book, you engage the service person when he or she is not busy in real, authentic conversations.
Now if your style is one of being technical or knowledge salesperson when engaging that automotive service person you ask numerous questions. Your goal is to learn as much as possible about what is happening and what you can do to avoid a similar problem. As a buyer, you may engage in a lot of research before making any purchase especially a significant one.
For those who are high pressure or reflect that “closer” style, their buying actions may be rather quick, in and out. Returning to the automotive experience, these individuals would be asking “How quick can you repair my car?” and probably are counting the minutes especially if the repair time exceeds what they were quoted.
Reluctant sellers may be reluctant buyers. Possibly these types of individuals are always second guessing themselves by “Did I make the right decision?” or asking questions to the service personnel “Are you sure this needs to be done?”
If we are what we do, then we have the opportunity to make changes because as free will individuals we have 100% of the choices we make when it comes to how we sell and what we buy. The problem is that sometimes because we do not know ourselves very well, we listen to others and this further widens this authenticity gap.
What I have observed is that far too many people are unaware of how they make decisions and the specific talents they use in coming to those decisions. This lack of awareness keeps them from having clarity necessary in making the right decisions. In a sales situation this would be “should I ask this question?”
Another observation is quite a few people who earn their living by selling do not have a written values statement (business ethics). This is a simple statement of your non-negotiable behaviors reflected through what some may call ethics.
Having worked with numerous individuals and organizations, my belief is that this statement is the most important one and needs to be addressed before any others. Since society appears to be trending to a lack of personal accountability and personal responsibility, those professional salespersons who are know their values (business ethics) and whose behaviors consistently reflect those values will have far greater success.
When we are in alignment with those values or business ethics, then our actions are also in alignment and we can be comfortable with the phrase we do what we are. However when there exists a lack of congruency between our values and our actions, then red flags are raised in the minds of our potential customers. Having a red flag raised in the buying decision making process is that last thing you want to happen.
For it is truly our authenticity that pulls us to our potential customer or clients. Since people buy from people they know and trust, they are more likely to buy from someone they perceive to be authentic. However wow to that salesperson who fakes being authentic because he or she will eventually suffer long term negative consequences.
Our actions is what our potential customers see first since mind reading is still not a honed skill set in the early 21st century. The greater alignment and congruency between those actions or behaviors with our internal beliefs including our sales style helps to strengthen the relationship between buyers (them) and sellers (you).
The statement “we are what we do” is indeed an interesting and one that may prompt you to respond with your own thoughts.
By Andrew Brown