(real) Selling is as authentic as you get

There's a belief that you have to be something that you're not to be successful. This goes for sales, marketing, job interviews, dates  and anything else that forces you to put yourself out in front of the world. This belief lingers in the tactical advice about how to market, sell and use social media. It hangs out with old school marketing and in the places where insecurity and unsureness about your path exist.

So what do people do? They think,

"Well I don't even know who I am so how can I begin to tell others what I stand for?"

So they resort to being "professional": professional marketers, professional sales people, professional [fill in the blank].

But what professional to so many people means is to act cold, forced and non-transparent. They  look, sound, and feel like everyone else. In the attempt to be what they believe is professional, they eliminate the option of having a real conversation with people and of standing for something worthwhile.

They feel like they have to hide something, never really knowing concretely what that something is. It's  a tremendous weight to carry around day in and day out. It's like having a conversation with someone, knowing you can't say one word and fearing the entire time that you might.

THAT is what causes you to lose the sale, get the job you hate or lose the job you'd love, flunk out on the date with your dream girl and more. It impedes you from saying what you really feel and believe and missing out on a real connection, which is the entire foundation for any meaningful relationship.

The big secret to selling more, getting people to follow your cause, getting your business off the ground, etc.  is to have a real conversation with the people who are interested in having a similar conversation with you.

You don't have to be anything other than yourself to build your brand , business or network of friends. It's about being authentic and transparent.

Certain details of transparency will depend on your business, but in general, transparency is being open about what you stand for, what you offer,  and what you're willing to do. Not everyone will go for it. And that's ok. But at least they know what you stand for.

Tactical advice has it's place (e.g. 20% of all tweets should be about interesting news), but the real movement starts with you and your willingness to let people see you for who you are.