The Mindsets

Authenticity

Authenticity

For us: Authenticity means acting with integrity, transparency and original thought. Our consultants and support staff are all selected because they embody the values we and our customers seek. That doesn't mean we all act, think, and (heaven forbid) look the same. Rather, we are a diverse group of inspired people who adhere to a shared set of values and interpret them in our own individual ways. In the end, it comes to down to the assurance to be ourselves rather than a need to impress others (the results we deliver tend to take care of that).

For you: Let's face it. Customers have an intrinsic suspicion of sales people, judging them not on what they say, but on what they do. So it takes time to build trust, a fragile quality that underpins the entire sales process. That's why authenticity is not just important, but vital. Strategic relationships built on trust and integrity will dictate what privileged information a customer decides to share with a supplier. Affectation, an over-inflated sense of self and hypocrisy don't just stay in the draw. They go in the dustbin. Good salespeople are effective and dependable partners, working closely beside the customer who relies on them to create the best solution for any given situation. Authenticity is about staying true to the things you believe in, rather than the things you believe your client believes in.

For example: Often sales people have a tendency to stretch the truth about their product and service capability if they feel it is necessary to help close the sale; customers sense this and so seek authenticity. Once customers find suppliers they know and trust they remain loyal and go out of their way to help their supplier to win future business.

"I love a good sales person but I just don't want him pointing at me, I want him pointing back inside his company so I can get better response times, better prices, well get a better deal at all points of our engagement". Former CTO, Vodafone.

During the acquisition of Compaq by Hewlett Packard, HP decided to appoint a new account manager for what was one of the UK's largest telecoms accounts. This same person insisted the original account manager remained, such was the trust that had been developed between the customer and account manager. The Compaq account manager retained the relationship and went on to develop the account to one of Hewlett Packard's largest global accounts.