People buy people first

I’d just finished a speech with group of sales managers at a Fortune 500 company. After everyone cleared out of the room, my client came up to me with a huge smile on his face.

“Great job Scott! I’ve been getting awesome feedback. You truly resonated with my staff!”

“Cool, that’s what I like to hear,” I replied.

Steve sat down in the chair in front of me. He leaned back, put his feet up and said, “You know Scott, I gotta be honest: I hire a lot of outside trainers just like yourself. And as valuable as your message of approachability is, the real reason I chose you … is because I LIKED you.”

Wow. So there it was. Just like that. Because he liked me.

LESSON LEARNED: people buy people first.

Before your company.
Before your products.
Before your services.

They buy YOU first.

Before your ideas.
Before your suggestions.
Before your work.

They buy YOU first.

THEREFORE: you owe it to yourself to put your values before vocation. Beliefs before business. Person before profession. Individuality before industry.

Here’s how. I call it The ABC’s of Leading with Your Person:

A is for attitude.
(Cliché but true!) Sun Tzu said, “What you believe about yourself, the world will believe about you.” So, before you sell a product, idea or service, first sell yourself on yourself. Because if you don’t like you, nobody else will.

How much time do you spend each day selling yourself to yourself?

B is for breathing.
…your person through every possible touch point, that is. The way you answer the phone, type emails, engage in person, or appear on paper – all of these are different channels through which you have an opportunity to communicate your person FIRST. It’s like Seth Godin says, “The only thing people judge about you is how an engagement with you makes them feel.”

Do your communication channels define you by what you do or who you are?

C is for consistency.
Ever run into one of your coworkers outside of the office and think, “Oh my God! Jan from Accounting?! She’s like a completely different person!”

It’s a bummer when that happens. I feel like I see it a lot. Not exactly consistent, huh?

Now I know, I know: some people work in jobs that require them to be someone different compared to who they are when they’re off the clock.

Those people should find new jobs.

When was the last time someone told you “tone down” your real self?


That’s how you lead with your person. Got it?


How do you lead with your person?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

Are you That Guy?

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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