The Lost Art of Integrity… Is Character More Important Today?
— April 18, 2018
Every once in a while I get together and have a coffee with my mentor. His name is Al. We sit down and I usually get to ask him a lot of questions and I try to learn from his experiences and knowledge and try to get my mindset right.
One of the thoughts that came up today really got me thinking. That was, is integrity a lost art? Is character more important today than ever before? The reason I bring this up is because of all of the psychology of social media and things that I’ve been talking about and talking about influencers and business online and all these other things.
What Is Integrity?
Al and I really got down to some basics. The answer is that integrity has always been important and character has always been important, but it’s much, much harder today because of a lack of integrity and a lack of character. I don’t care whether you’re talking about leaders or people that you meet online, but here’s something important to note: we are all flawed people. It doesn’t matter who you are. I don’t care if you’re the smartest, greatest person in the world. I mean, even Tony Robbins, who is somebody who is revered as a leader, a mindset changer, an entrepreneur, got questioned about an answer that he gave at one of his own conferences.
It really begs to make you think, what is integrity? What is character? The end game with all of this is pretty simple. Integrity is something where you possess strong moral principles. Now, morals, okay, it’s a debatable thing but the bottom line is you are who you are when you’re in your car. When you’re in traffic, are you one of those people that lets people in or flips them off? I think it really depends on your mood and circumstances, but ultimately integrity boils down to you are who you are when you’re in your car.
Who Are You Online?
But really what it boils down to from an online marketing standpoint is, is the person you’re portraying online the real you? Do you stand up to the test that you put other people in front of? Are you integral with what you sell? That’s one of the things that I find incredibly important: if I can’t achieve this for myself first, what right do I have to teach other people how to do it?
I’ve seen so many people of authority sit there and align thoughts because all of those thoughts align the way that they’re supposed to in order to reach the largest number of people. Usually, in the end, there’s something missing, and that’s the end game.
Let me explain this a little bit further. People pay for dreams. You hear these things: get rich, solve your problems, get out of debt, find the woman of your dreams, lose weight, do all these things. It’s all about who we are trying to become. Online, are we the people that we really are or are we sitting in a car?
Hide Behind A Screen
I know a lot of people who do things online that I would never expect them to do one-on-one. Their integrity is not aligned. The end result is people may pay for dreams but the end game is people recommend results. People are driven by results. You could say you’re going to be skinnier, you’re going to be smarter, you’re going to be better looking, you’re going to find the love of your life, you’re going to be richer, you’re going to be all these other things, but when it gets down to brass tacks, do you deliver on that promise?
In all fairness, it’s not 100% on your shoulders because this is what we kind of discussed. I coach a lot of people. I teach them how to market their businesses online. That’s the cornerstone of who I am and what I do. I’ve been in the marketing game since I was 18 years old. That was a while ago, peeps. The principles have never changed. The only thing that’s really changed is the methodologies which we deliver them.
Content is Content
An example of this is when I owned my recording studio, I used to do content marketing. I would literally print out on an Atari 400 articles and I would cut them out with scissors and tape them to a piece of paper and put a header on it. It was 11 x 17, it would get folded, sent to a printer, and then mailed out to my clients.
Today, we do the same thing except we post it on a blog, or in an email, or on social media, or something along those lines. But, the end game is I was trying to help them to better understand how to work in the recording studio environment, which I was in at that time. It’s the same thing today.
How to work through all of the things that are happening online right now. You know and I know that this is an ever-changing game. But, Al and I were sitting down talking about this, and I covered what I considered to be the three principles that I think that integrity has to have in order for your clients to be successful.
Does What You Sell Align With Expectations?
I’ll give you one other quick example before I dive into that. Somebody sent me an email today about how to combine accounts on LinkedIn. I said, okay, here’s how you do it. I went and researched it and I said, I also do classes on LinkedIn and I do one-on-one coaching on LinkedIn. He went and followed a link, ended up at this podcast, and joined the Bacon Podcast Insider Group, which was only a dollar, but because of what he was looking for, it was not aligned with what he wanted. What he wanted was to learn how to use LinkedIn better. Now, there are free podcasts, there are some resources here to do that, but I have something called Leveraged LinkedIn for Sales, which is a completely different course at a completely different price point than a buck, which is more aligned. I called him up and I said, “Hey look, I don’t think you intended to get this. I’m going to refund your dollar and here’s what I have to offer. When you’re ready, call me back.” He was so appreciative because I knew that what he was looking for was not aligned with what he bought.
Could I have kept the dollar? Yes. Then I would have started charging him $ 20 a month, but that’s not what he wanted and that’s not what he was aligned with.
Three Truths To Integral Selling
So, here are the three things you have to think about:
1. Can they afford it? What I mean by, can they afford it —sure, anybody can put something on a credit card — but is this aligned to the fact that they’re going to get some return on investment with it? I always try to give my clients three-to-one return on investment. One dollar they spend, they should make three. One for the cost of the training, one for their own time, and one for profit.
2. Do they want to change? Do they have the mindset ready to evolve their thinking from where they’re at today? Are they going to make a difference with the things that you sell or show them?
3. (Finally, this is the most important piece.) Can they be held accountable? Are they willing to take action and come to you and say, “I got it done” or “I failed to get it done.” Then you need to keep them accountable through the process.
Those three things: can they afford it; do they want to change; and can they be held accountable are the cornerstones of selling things to your customers with integrity and character.
Think about it.
Integrity and character are not dead, but with all the fake news, outrageous claims, and scams floating around the internet (and especially social media), the ball is in your court to live it and prove it. How can you do that? Use stories (your own) and testimonials from others to show that what you sell provides results. Remember… people pay for dreams, but people recommend results. Do everything you can to prove it!
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?