Attention Sales World… Your Walk Must Match Your Talk In A Post-Trust World
“Trust is congruence between what you say and what you do.”
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%).
Are you being honest, credible and knowledgeable? Or just for the deal sake?
Are you looking after your clients best interest and providing value? Or just for the deal sake?
When the walk doesn’t match the talk in a post-trust world, many in sales will revert to price discounting as their means of providing so-called value.
When in fact,
“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
The age-old phrase, “Talk is cheap” still carries much truth.
You can say anything you want to, but your words take on another meaning when they become backed up by your actions.
Unfortunately, we’ve become a society where truth is foreign and lies are the norm.
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.
“Most people will talk the talk, few will walk the walk; be amongst the few”
Dr. Steve Maraboli
Does the walk match the talk?
Does the way you carry yourself online match the way you carry yourself offline?
Does the way you carry yourself out in the community match the way you carry yourself with your clients?
Are you carrying yourself in a congruent state to best serve your clients?
Now, let’s loop this back into trusted client relationships.
Trust can be earned or lost through your actions. 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 important and you value building meaningful client relationships, then you must spend quality time with your clients cementing those relationships.
Congruency isn’t about big actions. It’s about the little things.
CONGRUENCY IS A TRUST BUILDER
“Be congruent, be authentic, be your true self.”
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.
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.
Therefore, someone who lives with congruency acts in complete accordance with their dreams, desires, beliefs, values, mission and goals. They do not let the thoughts of others affect how they lead their life.
An overwhelming feeling of inherent trust comes from someone who is congruent
Congruency will keep you at the top, especially in a world full of empty suits.
This requires you to personally reflect upon yourself, your actions, your thoughts and how you carry yourself. This requires you to become hyper-vigilant and observant.
Allow this quote from Nathaniel Branden to sink in,
“Integrity is congruence between what you know, what you profess, and what you do.”
Congruency means living on purpose. But wouldn’t you agree, you must first know your purpose?
Fully understand what it is you stand for and what are you passionate about adding to the lives of your clients and future clients.
Reorganize your life so you act in line with these beliefs daily.
When you are congruent, amazing things start to happen:
- Your confidence soars
- Your desire to make a difference dramatically increases
- You feel at peace
More importantly, watch what starts to happen to your client relationships, new opportunities and who you start to attract.
CONGRUENCY WILL BE TESTED
In some instances, congruency will be tested within the confines of your work environment.
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 sales meetings and misaligned training), and we continue these patterns over and repeatedly without giving it much thought. Doesn’t this sound like sales autopilot?
“Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision.”
What will you commit to?
Let’s face it, sales is an emotional rollercoaster. It will tug on your heart and wear on your mind. However, to be truly fulfilled in sales, we must act from a place of congruency.
To be congruent, who you are, what you say, and what you do must be aligned.
Zero in on this with me, spend any amount of time in sales and you will have been faced with “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 incongruence.
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.
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.”
With trust and credibility constantly being challenged, practice congruency and lead your sales life in an authentic manner.
CONGRUENCY IS WHAT MATTERS, WHAT WILL YOU DO?
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? Do you even know?
“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
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.
Congruent people generate trust
Congruent people do not put forth the effort in pretending or disguising their inner state.
They know how to listen to their feelings and can accept them, without fooling themselves or others. They do not play games, and do not play charades.
Congruent people are brave because we live in a society which hasn’t taught us to show our feelings or even place them up onto the business table.
Reflect for a moment…
- 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.
Think about this… It’s 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?
Originally published on Larry Levine’s LinkedIn.