In today’s economy, people buy personalities more than they buy products and services. I know this because I’ve tested this theory out thousands of times over. You can read all about it in my book
“From Bankrupt to $900 a day Selling Mops”. I was a product demonstrator and travelled the world on a broomstick selling mops! I agree doing live demo shows in large retail chain stores doesn’t sound too glamorous, but the life and marketing lessons I learned from that mop stage are priceless. I learned that authenticity and transparency – the presence of your “beingness” in the moment, riding the wave of emotions as they come up and sharing this with an open heart – this is what REALLY sells.
It is 2012, and the world is waking up from all of the hype, marketing fluff and propaganda. Consumers today are more aware and hypersensitive to sales tactics because they’re bombarded all day with propaganda from the radio, newspaper and, now more than ever, the Internet. That’s why authenticity is the new currency for business today.
Do you know why your audience chooses your products or services over someone else’s? Authenticity stands out. Being vulnerable stands out. People yearn more and more for authentic connection.
Succeeding in any business in this new era is all about the art of engagement – engaging your clients to pay attention to your marketing messages; engaging them to take action and purchase your products or services; and hopefully engaging them emotionally so that they feel compelled to tell their family and friends to support you too! You can’t engage anyone on a deep emotional level without being authentic and real.
Transparency takes courage. Wearing your heart on your sleeve takes balls. Whether you are a solo entrepreneur or a Fortune 500 company, your clients’ buying decisions will be based on how well they connect with your core values, and most importantly, with your personality.
So just how vulnerable and authentic are you? And how can you harness the power of authenticity in your business to boost sales and engage your clients?
6 Tips for Cultivating Presence & The Power of Authenticity
1|Sit in silence with yourself every day
Living an authentic life means taking action from your inner confidence and wellspring of intuition. Most people have no idea what their intuition looks or feels like because they are so busy, busy, busy running around every day trying to do ten thousand things at once. We live in a culture – Western culture – that approves productivity over peace. Cultivate your voice of intuition; it will always lead you in the right direction. You need to be able to actually hear it, so practice being silent every day – even if it’s only for 10 minutes at a time. Meditation will instantly connect you to your higher self where your authentic self awaits.
2| Nurture your playful side
I noticed a kid in the mall freaking out with excitement over a globe strobe light dancing on the ceiling. “Wow,” I thought to myself, “How is it that we lose this playful, inquisitive side of ourselves?” Don’t fall into the success trap, where you have to be serious and forfeit who you are for the promise of wealth and success. Connect instead with your playful side. Playfulness and fun exude charisma and charm, and people respond to it. If you want to close more sales, start having more fun. Think of ways to share personal stories with your clients, so they get a FEEL for your humour. Your humour speaks volumes about your personality and that is what people buy from you.
3| Reconnect with your essence – get out into nature
If there’s only one thing you take away from this article, one thing you do to reconnect with your authentic self, let it be connecting with nature. Nature will always bring you back to you no matter how far you’ve strayed from your path. My father was a famous painter; who painted beautiful, natural landscapes. He was a simple man who from age seven, painted beauty and died with a smile on his face. Vibrations of nature infuse your soul with energy and vitality, and the peace you find in nature is a commodity in today’s modern stressed out cities. Reconnect and reenergize yourself in nature frequently and you’ll find yourself more grounded, present and in your body. When you’re in your body (not played like a puppet by your mind and its endless thoughts, fears and worries) – you’re also in your capacity for harnessing and transmitting personal power. Let nature be the connection that takes you home.
4| Quiet the mind
I discovered yoga over ten years ago on the beaches of Thailand. Yoga literally means “union” of the body, mind and spirit and has become a popular activity in the west with thousands of studies illustrating benefits for a long list of mental and physical ailments. It is not a practice of personal development. Yoga ultimately is a practice of self-acceptance. Accepting where you are right now is the first step in being able to make any kind of lasting change. Yoga and some martial arts, like Tai Chi and Qi Gong, are excellent ways to reconnect with the subtle energy systems in our bodies and tire the mind so that is loses its grip on our reality. You are not your mind. You are not your thoughts or your feelings although your ego would love to have you believe that you are so it can keep you forever chasing happiness, success and acceptance outside yourself. Losing your mind can be a peak experience into discovering your authentic self.
5| Practice being vulnerable
Being vulnerable is required in order to face those scary emotions of shame, fear, guilt, frustration, and grief. It’s only when we connect with our pain and move through it that we connect with the emotions of love, joy and happiness. Did you know that vulnerability is the most important ingredient that fosters
connection and engagement? It’s in our human nature to be compassionate, and when we hear the truth spoken from the heart, whether in a shared story or life antidote, we naturally connect. Emotions are the lifeblood of engagement and connection. In any business where you need clients, connecting with your ideal clients becomes so much easier when you can infuse your own stories and even life lessons. This builds the “know, like and trust” factor quickly. What stories are you sharing with your audience to connect and engage with them on a deep emotional level?
6| Start taking more risks
Too many people live with depression and I believe it’s because people have given up. Somewhere inside they’ve surrendered to the wrong side, and settled for a “comfortable” life – a life that is not too exciting and not too scary, not too enjoyable, but safe…and it’s slowly killing them. Life is speeding by faster than ever, it seems. Are you embracing the excitement of co-creating with life and going after your big dreams? If you’re tired of playing it safe and small, ask yourself this one question; the answer will be quite enlightening: “What’s the one thing you are resisting doing or not doing in your life/business that, if you took action on it right now, would give you the breakthrough you’re looking for?” Often times, when I ask my coaching clients this question, the answer is right there. Deep down inside, you know what you need to be doing, the question is what’s stopping you from doing it?