In the summer of 2020, after sitting in front of my computer on Zoom call after Zoom call, I was in the worst shape of my life. A trip to the doctor confirmed that my blood pressure was getting very high, like ‘go on medication’ high and I had to do something about it.
My doctor said either start medication, or start moving on a regular basis and eating better- I opted for door #2, thank you very much.
I asked Brynne for recommendations of podcasts to listen to as I began to walk every morning to get in better shape. The Selling From the Heart Podcast was at the top of her list.
Each week, Larry and Darrell talk to some of the top names in sales training and enablement, people like Anthony Iannorino, Mark Hunter, Brent Adamson, and Shari Levitin.
What I found when I listened was congruency.
The best way to understand what it means to be congruent is through some synonyms of the word: harmonious, like, in-agreement. To be congruent is to be in agreement with.
I found that I was in agreement with the Selling From The Heart philosophy on selling- that relationships matter over transactions and to be an authentic salesperson, you need to be an authentic human.
Shortly after starting to listen I had the chance to meet both Larry and Darrell via Zoom and a real and genuine connection happened, especially with Larry. We developed a friendship that went beyond our love of sales and our agreements and disagreements over social and it’s use in the sales process 😁.
If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that this past March I joined the team at Selling From The Heart as a coach and trainer.
That’s what congruency does- it forms relationships that can be life altering and journey changing.
Do you know how congruent you are with your clients?
Is congruency part of your qualifying process?
For many sales reps, a budget and a pulse are all that’s needed for their qualification process.
But congruency is not only a powerful relationship building tool, it’s also an ally when things go awry and if strengthened when we deliver what we promise.
Birds of a feather flock together is the old saying. We are attracted to people of like mind, we resonate with people who think like we do and hold similar values to ours. That can be a good thing, or it can be a bad thing. If you’re always looking for a short-cut, if you’re looking to trick people into buying, this kind of congruency will work against you.
But, if you value developing meaningful relationships and entering into those relationships with the idea of providing as much value and help as possible, that congruency will pay dividends.
Let me offer a word of warning: as Larry Levine says, salespeople are consistently inconsistent. You have to practice this in every interaction with your clients and prospects- they have to know that this is who you are and you will consistently show up for them.
When Things Go Wrong
My wife owns a print and promotional products distributorship. She’s been in the industry for over 20 years and she is VERY good at what she does. She practices congruency in her client relationships. In fact, just before I started writing this she called me to talk through a decision she made, based on being congruent and showing up for a client with value.
A client referred her to another division in their company. The decision maker she dealt with was up front that he was shopping vendors and the reason he was looking was because of inventory and turn-around issues. My wife replied that while she appreciated the opportunity to provide service, she knew there were companies that could serve them better.
Another issue that happens in her industry are mistakes. When I sold for her I would tell new clients that it wasn’t a question of IF mistakes would happen, but WHEN they happen- they are just inherent in the industry where you have several humans in the creation, development and delivery process. The question was HOW the problem would be solved and we always promised to be up front and honest when a mistake happened and deal with it. That has cost us money in the 9 years we’ve been in business, but has saved us more money in the long run in client loyalty because of our clients being congruent with us.
When there is congruency that builds deep relationships then there is grace when things go wrong.
Being Up Front
The best way to determine congruency with your prospects is to make sure you share your values up front. In your conversations with them as you get to know them and their challenges and needs, make sure you’re communicating what you value and hold dear in working with your clients. If you’re not sure, find out what your clients value about the service you provide them.
One of the best ways I found to determine what my values were was determining the behavior I wasn’t willing to endure from possible clients. For example if they were only fixated on price (transactional) or if they were looking for me to bend some rules (dishonesty).
By determining your values you’ll know what prospects are congruent with you and your values and I guarantee that those will be some of your best clients! The ones who you are not congruent with? Well by determining that up front, you’ll save yourself time and a bit of your sanity!
I’m excited to be into a brand new position at Selling From The Heart- Director of Brand Partnerships for the SFTH Podcast! We’re looking to partner with congruent brands that believe in our message of trust and authenticity! If you know of a brand, let’s have a conversation! Book some time with me HERE or connect with me on LinkedIn