Make vulnerability your competitive advantage


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Nobody’s perfect. But when we’re in front of our customers, we often try to be. We don’t want them to see our weaknesses, don’t want them to hear our bad ideas, don’t want them to see us as anything but strong, confidence and right.

Of course, that’s not really possible. Most clients don’t expect it, or even appreciate it. And more often than not, the opposite is true. Show customers your human side, show that you’ll be a partner and not a know-it-all expert, take the occasional bullet for them while protecting their interest and earning their trust – that’s the secret to long-term relationships and success.

I was invited to the weekly partner meeting of a Seattle consulting firm last week, and explained a bit about our core values and how we approach both prospects and new clients. Without prompting and in unison, several partners interrupted by saying “Getting Naked.”.

Turns out they weren’t making a suggestion (that would have been awkward), but were instead recommending a book: Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty.

The book will take you less than 90 minutes to read, but if you’re in any kind of services business, it’s mandatory reading.

In a nutshell, it outlines a simple, authentic, proven model for winning and keeping business. If you’re short on time, feel free to skip through the first 160 pages and simply read Patrick‘s outline of the “three fears” model outlining how often counter-intuitive behavior actually leads to better relationships, higher rates and greater profits for service-centric businesses.

As it turns out, vulnerability is what endears us to each other. Not because we’re weak, but because we’re real. We put the client’s interests first. We start doing business and offering advice during the sales call.

We worry less about losing the business, and more about serving the client.

We worry less about sounding stupid, and more about using our skills, instincts and perspective to add new ideas and innovative thinking to the process.

We worry less about being the smartest person in the room, and instead offer a stead stream of pure, authentic, “naked” value to the customer.

The book is written from the perspective of a consulting firm, but the model works in any business where service is a focus. And even if you’re selling shoes online, naked service can be a focus, competitive advantage and direct source of profits and success.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.


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