The Hall of Fame head coach Bill Parcells, when asked if his mediocre team were a bunch of 'winners or losers,' he responded by saying...
"You are what your record says you are"
Translated to the sales world...
If it looks like a sales rep, acts like a sales rep, and speaks like a sales rep, then it probably is a sales rep.
Quite frankly, quit hiding behind your business cards while dressing yourself up with fancy shmancy titles such as; Consultant, Customer Relations Manager, Senior Account Executive.
A picture speaks a thousand words...
Mirror mirror on the wall, what do sales reps LinkedIn profiles reveal about them all?
YOU GET ONE DIGITAL FIRST IMPRESSION
Whether you like it or not, your digital presence is out there and people can find your sales ridden footprints.
Unless you’ve been living in some remote Amazon rain forest for the last 20 years, the stark reality is we have all moved into the digital age. We have accepted the fact the internet and 'Googling' is a way of life.
Information now travels at lightning speed, network connections are made every day and first impressions are formed without your knowledge.
If you can't do the little things right, how can you do the big things right?
Think of your digital presence and how this impacts...
- New sales opportunities
- Having the C-Suite door opened
- Creating unique differentiation
- Opening up new conversations
What are you going to do about it? How are you going to fix it? Time to make adjustments to your plan. Do you even have a plan? If not, then invest the time to develop one. This article may help you... Develop a business plan containing a purpose, plan and goals.
When that 'A,' number one, targeted account, the one you have been trying to get with for years lands on your LinkedIn profile, their opinion about you will be made within seconds. Whether you believe it or not, if you fail to make a good digital impression, game over. Like it or not this is the world you must learn how to operate in.
I don't care how great of a sales rep you are! It is not about you!
Ditch the big fat ego! After all, there are plenty of well qualified, subject matter experts that your clients and prospects can connect with, I call these sales professionals!
WHY YOU ARE WHAT YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE SAYS YOU ARE
In the 2014 State of B2B Procurement study from the Acquity Group, 94% of B2B buyers research online for purchase decisions. This should be a wakeup call to all sales reps. Pay serious attention to the fact that research starts well before they speak with you. A visit to a website, a simple Google search; alas, how much business are you potentially missing out on because your LinkedIn profile positions you as nothing more than a sales rep?
Take a serious look at your LinkedIn profile... Pretend you’re a potential client and ask yourself...
Would I buy from myself based upon what I currently see on my LinkedIn profile? What makes me any different than all the other sales reps?
YOUR HEADLINE SCREAMS SALES REP
Sales reps are enamored with their titles. How many C-level business executives are chomping at the bit right now to meet with you based upon your title?
The opening act to your professional story and your LinkedIn headline screams, "Hello all, I am a sales rep." Albeit, you are a sales rep but what makes you any different than all the others?
Done well, your LinkedIn headline can be used to promote your brand statement, your expertise and your all-around problem solving skills. The value you provide must be conveyed through this message.
WHAT YOUR SUMMARY SCREAMS ABOUT YOU
Hey, look over here, look how great I am. With a quick 10 second glance, Mr. or Mrs. C-level executive spots your summary... BAM!
"Top-producing Sales Leader with extensive experience driving strategic sales planning & execution, enterprise account management, and business development. To date, I have been recognized with 13 President’s Clubs Awards, 4 Regional Top Sales Awards, and multiple Leadership Awards."
"A visionary with dynamic strategic analytical skills to improve sales. Pragmatic, persuasive, and a creative ability to solve unique business problems. Known for developing and maintaining internal relationships resulting in effective resolution of challenges and enhanced customer satisfaction."
What on earth is all of this crap? Who gives a rip outside of you?
What value are you bringing to the businesses you work with? How are you addressing the challenges businesses face in today's marketplace? What problems do you solve?
You must differentiate yourself from the wolf pack and get the right people engaged with you. Provide them a sense of confidence in your abilities as you share your unique promise of value.
YOUR EXPERIENCE SCREAMS ALL ABOUT MY COMPANY
Sales reps will copy and paste bullet points from their resumes into the experience section. Better yet, I have worked at this company from this date to this date. How original!
Here is some ingenious creativity at its finest...
"When you work with us, you work with a team of business solutions specialists who take pride in their work and reputation. Our Senior Management team has an average of 20 years of industry experience. Our tremendous growth and success is attributed to the shared goal of every team member to take care of the customer, first and foremost. It is our straightforward and honest approach to simplifying document workflows that has earned us national awards for service, support and customer retention."
Big freaking deal! Who cares?
Think of removing doubt and eliminating risk for your potential new client. What do you do for your clients? Why does it matter to them? Why does it work so well?
What value are you providing to your clients?
GET THE LITTLE THINGS RIGHT
From generating new conversations, opening up new business opportunities or from a brand development point of view, how much traffic can you afford to lose because of the way you look?
We all know how much prospecting you're really doing! You're not fooling anyone, well maybe yourself!
Gaining trust and loyalty within your network, your clients and your prospects is the goal of sales rep. You may not like the fact that you are being judged by what they find or don't find online about you. This is reality and you must be willing to accept it.
Your online strategy drives your digital first impression. Your digital first impression is hopefully one that can secure you a meeting with a prospect or get more familiar with a current client.
In the real world you rarely get a second chance to make a good impression. In the online world all it takes is a simple mouse click and you're gone, vanished from their mind and squashed of opportunity.
Now, I ask you all to look back at your LinkedIn profile and think of Bill Parcells then recite to yourself...
I am what my LinkedIn profile says I am - A Sales Rep
What are you going to do about it?
I understand, I get where you all are coming from. Every day, I walk in your shoes. I am fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social aspects and modern strategies into your current sales process to grow new business. I want you to get results. This is why I am passionate about doing this the right way, the genuine way, the authentic way!
In 2016, I was recognized by ENX Magazine as, “The Difference Maker,” as someone who is making a difference inside the B2B office technology sector. I am passionate about helping sales reps succeed in creating their online brand image.
You can find more advanced training material inside the Social Sales Academy website.
I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my stories. Integrating the use of social and sharing my story on LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive office technology world. With great pride I transform, challenge, coach and inspire sales teams to grow new business by helping them share their story and how they communicate it out by integrating the use of social inside the sales process. You can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Social Sales Academy and on my podcast by clicking on Selling from the Heart.