Authentic Communication Is the New Black
People tend to do business with people that they know, like and trust. And one of the fastest ways to get people to know, like and trust you is to be authentic.
Like him or hate him, UFC Champion Conor McGregor is an excellent example of shooting from the hip, saying what you’re thinking and being extremely authentic. No matter what this prolific trash-talker says, his followers remain loyal because they know, like and trust him. And the reason they know, like and trust him is because he’s extremely authentic.
Note: People can’t really know you unless you show them the real you, faults and all.
Learn to resonate with your audience in a powerful way without pulling any punches, and they won’t be able to get enough of you.
Here’s a typical formula for success in sales (that could be made much better by introducing authentic communication):
- Find your crowd.
- Encourage their dreams.
- Justify their failures.
- Alleviate their fears.
- Confirm their suspicions.
- Help them throw rocks at their enemies.
This formula can produce sales as is. But “justifying people’s failures” is a form of people-pleasing (e.g. telling them what they want to hear, as opposed to what they might need to hear). And people-pleasing isn’t being authentic, so let’s tweak this formula to be more authentic and see what happens.
Authenticity often requires detaching from a desired outcome and stating your truth with conviction whether others agree or not. Most people can feel the difference. Will everyone agree with you? Heck no! That’s actually a good thing.
As a marketer, you don’t necessarily want everyone to like you. What you really want is for those who like you to REALLY like you, and to fall all over themselves to work with you. When that happens, they become brand champions and lifelong partners.
If someone doesn’t like you or your message and decides to do business elsewhere, it doesn’t matter because they’re not in your crowd and they probably weren’t going to do business with you anyway.
Being authentic is one way to identify who’s in your crowd and who’s not.
Adopt this mindset: “I would love for everyone to know, like and trust me. But it’s not required.”
It seems counterintuitive. But by being willing to lose people’s business, you will often resonate with them on an unconscious level and compel them to do business with you. Why? Because unlike most marketers, you tell people what they need to hear (they already know it), which builds trust that often translates into sales.
While everyone else is toeing the status quo by selling convenient lies like, “This new diet lets you eat nothing but ice cream and lose 20 lbs. in 20 days,” you go the opposite direction and build a loyal tribe by adding massive value with compassionate tough love.
One could produce a quick sale, the other trust and a deeper commitment.
Think of a person you truly love and want the best for. It could be your best friend, a parent, your spouse or your children. If you wanted to help them get a certain result, how would you sell them? Would you tell them a bunch of convenient lies just to get their money? Or would you tell them exactly what you believe they need to hear, even if doing so might hurt their feelings? Assuming you chose the latter, that’s how you should communicate with your target audience. I call this “shooting people straight”—telling them things you know they don’t want to hear, but will help them more than they may think.
So let’s look at the new, more authentic version of the sales formula we saw above.
- Find your crowd.
- Encourage their dreams.
- Highlight their failures and disappointments, including any lies they may believe. Then use compassionate tough love to explain how they can achieve their desired outcome with your help.
- Ease their fears and encourage them to face them with a positive new outlook.
- Overcome their suspicions by sharing knowledge that is accurate and proven.
- Build trusted relationships that will help them take action and feel secure in their decisions.
Once a sale has been made, particularly in service-based businesses, ongoing communication is essential to keep customers happy and increase referrals or repeat business. Everyone craves honesty, trust and human connection, so give it to them.
Communicate with clients regularly. Consistency is more important than perfection. For example, in email marketing, it’s not just one email that makes a sale. It’s the sum total of all your emails that builds the relationship. Then maybe one email becomes the straw that breaks your clients’ wallets wide open.
If you don’t know what to say, do what Tony Robbins advises and imagine what you would say if you did know what to say, and then say that.
Don’t waste time worrying about how you could never be as creative as someone else, because you never will be. Copying someone else isn’t authentic. Doing your best at what you can do will always get better results—for your clients and yourself—than trying to mimic someone else.
So let’s look at the results of authentic communication:
- Authentic Communication = Trusting Clients
- Trusting Clients = Realistic Expectations
- Realistic Expectations = Easier to Please
- Easier to Please = Fewer Refunds + Less Legal Problems
- Fewer Refunds + Less Legal Problems = Long-Term Profits + Great Reputation
- Long-Term Profits + Great Reputation = Testimonials + Better Marketing
- Better Marketing = Lower Cost Per Lead + Higher Conversions
- Higher Conversions = More Clients to meet with Authentic Communication
- The Cycle Continues
So as we can see, authentic communication is the foundation of an incredible business model that benefits everyone.
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