Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Why Being Authentic Keeps My Client's Happy

I grew up in a small lakefront home an hour south of Cleveland, Ohio. Most of my closest friends waterskied, skateboarded, snowboarded, and did everything else closely related to "extreme sports." So my first childhood dream was to be on the cover of Wakeboarding Magazine because of my love for board sports. At the age of 10, I had my first board sponsor which led to a serious competitive career, traveling on bus tours around the country, teaching other kids and families about the sponsors and even competing in countries overseas, never forgetting to raise awareness to the public about the brands that I represented.

I never made it on the cover, but I did get a Monday Cover from Alliance Wake

Since moving to Florida to pursue my waterskiing dreams, I managed the oldest and most core skateboard shop in Orlando for 2years before moving into the car industry. The owner loved how I connected with the customers, was always kind, never getting upset with a customer, and generally up-selling them on a pair of wheels, or shoes with a soft and friendly approach.

It was what I new about business - being a friend sells more because of trust.

A little bit about where I learned sales-
My father, for the last 30 years, was a traveling salesman that taught me the importance of a proper handshake, eye contact, professionalism, and the strength it takes to sell anything.  He sold sheet metal machines, punch press's and lasers. The orders were sometimes over $1Million so I studied how he would talk about the customer, what he had to do to sell them on the equipment for expanding their business, and the feeling of accomplishing a hard days work. Sometimes it would take him 6months to close the sale, and would still not get paid until the machines would ship.  That's tough, but I admired his persistence, he never lied, and would go out of his way for the customer, even if he wasn't going to make any extra money.  It is this kind of effort that I am proud to say Geoff Gregory is my father.

Back to athletes-
The best athletes in the world, and some of the richest people in the world, they get lucky with lying, cheating and stealing. But notice that those are not the ones that are idolized or worshiped.
The ones that live forever are the ones who are always honest, never cheat the price, and do more work than just what they are paid for.

This post is dedicated to those people because they are the true "Marketing Guru's."
Even if their job title says "Sales," they are the ones on the floor doing marketing with a handshake, a smile, and majority of the time, knowing more about the product or company than the entire marketing team.

Tony Hawk is one of those people. He is one of the the most respected professionals in the world.  He is always honest, he always smiles, he encourages the building of something bigger than just skateboarding.  He does more marketing with his smile than any ad can do, and he sells more than anyone because of that.

He states in this video with Andrew "The Boss" Reynolds that "...our marketing works because it's authentic."

I can't put it any better, and I am sure he has worked on that line for decades as he creates and develops clothing lines, video games, and skateboards. It is authenticity that sells the best. Even cheap needs to have some authenticity behind it or it won't last long. People buy because of trust.

I believe my upbringing from my honest parents, being a professional athlete representing to the public a reason to purchase products, and my love for healthy activities has given me the ability to carry a label above my head that says "Authentic." My clients seem to trust me more than their last marketing pro and I believe this the number one reason why they are happy with my firm and I.

I hope you can learn from this and bring authenticity to your brand and products, you will sell more this way and create stronger brands because of it.

Check out my firms site and give us some feedback> www.nsgconsultinginc.com