Here are some questions for you – do you truly believe in what you say when you are talking to your customers? Are the words that come out of your mouth really yours, or are they what you think you should say? Does your website and literature really reflect who you are?
In the commercial world we all operate in, it is increasingly important we are, above most other things, authentic. Now there’s a word – authenticity. It means to be genuine and real. This is something that is crucial when trying to persuade customers to buy from you and not your competition.
At a networking event I recently attended, we all had the opportunity to spend a few seconds telling everyone else about our particular businesses. When it was his turn, one gentleman stood up and said: “I help individuals embrace a healthier approach to life, both mentally and nutritionally.”
Bold words you might think. But they were delivered by a man who was obviously over-weight and had just tucked into a full fried breakfast. Even the way he spoke the words was quite down-cast and uninspiring. Unfortunately for him, I just wasn’t convinced he could deliver the service he was offering. In fact, I wasn’t even sure he believed he could deliver the service, either. Put bluntly, he wasn’t being authentic.
Later, I checked out his website and the designers had obviously done a great job – it was striking and vibrant, with powerful colours and positive copy and visuals. Sadly, it was everything he wasn’t in person.
He just didn’t live up to the image created by his website. And this got me thinking about my own website (www.zerosellsale.com) which you are on now (or seeing via a blog email) and the cover to my recent book. What did it say about me?
As a person, I am quite straight-talking and clear when I give advice to my clients. In addition, I am well over six-foot with a shaved head and a goatee beard – therefore I don’t often fade into the back-ground.
These are characteristics about me that are indisputable, and ones that are obvious when I attend various networking events. Therefore, it seemed only logical to me to reflect these characteristics in my business brand. My book cover contains a full-length photograph of me next to the title written in clear, bold letters – as you would imagine, it clearly says what the book does. In addition, I feel my web-site is an extension of these characteristics.
Therefore, I genuinely believe my brand is authentic. I would happily discuss whether the brand could be more aesthetically pleasing, because I’m sure it could be. But the one thing that is without doubt is that my brand is definitely an accurate reflection of me.
So, if you are in business, have a look at your own brand. Is your website and literature saying the right things about you and your service? Are you a fair reflection of what you say when you meet your customers. If it is, then brilliant, you are being genuinely authentic. If it isn’t, though…
I’m sure you’ll find it an interesting exercise.
Thanks for reading, Damian