In business (especially sales), there exists a degree of pressure to have the appearance of a “Whale,” a “Shark,” a “Lion” or some other blood-thirsty jungle animal or sea creature to gain as much business as possible. It can come across as inauthentic and give a negative vibe to potential customers.
It is important to understand that there’s a fine line between confidence and cockiness. A larger issue is truly figuring out who you are. Often a person will overcompensate a lack of self-awareness with arrogance. Who are you? The first step to overcoming the “Whale” attitude is to define yourself on your own terms. Are you funny? Charming? Aggressive? Passionate? Becoming self-aware allows you the chance to distinguish between the good you and the bad you.
Yet another important idea to remember is to not compare your successes or failures to those of others. It is one thing to be competitive. It is another for competitiveness to be your sole motivator. There’s no quicker way to destroy your own spirit than to base your goals on the wins of other people. Be competitive but do so by setting personal goals and working to achieve them.
Displaying an air of authenticity is one of the best ways to earn your prospective customer’s trust. Some of the most successful salespeople on the planet have achieved the level of success they have by doing nothing more than being genuine. They send personalized emails and handwritten thank-you notes. They attend and host charity functions. They set reminders for birthdays and anniversaries. Most of all, they focus on doing right by their customers. They do this rather than elevating their personalities for the sake of getting the deal. This type of open sharing provides a window into how a person lives on a daily basis. This displays how they’ll behave when they’re face-to-face with a customer.
Think about what it is that makes you stand out and then select the tools which pair closely with those traits.