"Great brands start inside"
You've invested countless hours, decades, and millions of dollars to build your brand reputation within your marketplace.
What steps have your sales reps done to build their brand reputation?
When people ask, "So, tell me a little bit about yourself", what are the first few things you share?
You may respond by sharing whether you're married, have kids or possibly where you live may live, however; one of the first things you're likely to share is your job title or what you do for a living. There’s a good reason, as work is a common thread in most of our lives. Sharing with someone where you work and what you do gives them a good idea of what’s important to you. This is just a part of normal "get to know" conversation.
I encourage you to think about this for a moment... In today's highly competitive business world, a quick Google search can turn up endless amounts of information regarding your company and the sales reps who represent your corporate brand. Are you proactively doing something about it?
"Personal branding is about managing your name - even if you don't own a business - in a world of misinformation, disinformation, and semi-permanent Google records. Going on a date? Chances are that your "blind" date has Googled your name. Going on a job interview? Ditto"
Your sales rep's name and social presence can become major factors in building a positive reputation with your clients and prospects. This is true in the complex and rapidly changing business environment. A sales brand just might become the primary differentiator.
In the business world, it’s not enough for sales reps to take on your corporate brand as their own. Instead, they need a well-defined and well-developed personal brand. You must encourage brand development and coach your sales reps to build their brand. This one act will equate to an increase in business and client retention.
It's happening... in sales meetings all over the place, sales reps are being told, "Run your territory as if it was your business. You're the CEO, now go out there develop new business. Go take care of our clients!"
I am going to ask all of you to stop for a moment, thinking real hard about this one word...
Would you allow your business to operate without any web presence? Of course you wouldn't. Your website is the window into your corporation portraying your brand in a business professional manner.
If you're encouraging your sales reps to be CEO's of their own territory and you accept how important your corporate website is to your brand, then why on earth would you allow your sales reps to operate their business with incomplete, non-branding and poorly positioned LinkedIn profiles?
Place yourself in your client's shoes or better yet a potential client's shoes. Based solely on your first impression of your sales reps LinkedIn profiles or any aspect of their digital footprint's (be honest) would you do business with them? Tough to digest, huh?
THREE WAYS YOUR SALES REPS HELP (OR HURT) YOUR COMPANY'S BRAND IMAGE
YOUR BUSINESS HAS LITTLE PERSONALITY WITHOUT YOUR SALES REPS
We operate in a business environment where connections and relationships are the most valuable assets a business can have. Your clients and prospects make choices regarding who they want to work with and buy from based on how well they connect with your sales reps. Those reps with a strong personal brand behind the corporate brand make it easier for clients and prospects to connect with meaning.
The personal brands of your sales rep's help to humanize your corporate brand. This is mission critical and extremely important in creating defining moments between your company and the competition.
"The sea of sameness is no place to swim in!"
LOYALTY BUILDS WHEN THE BUYER IDENTIFIES TO YOUR SALES REPS PERSONAL BRAND
When sales reps develop a strong personal brand people will pay attention. It's these branding moments that help your sales reps facilitate and build a loyal client base on behalf of your company. Helping them to build and develop their personal brand is a key strategy you must promote. The value your sales rep's have to your business isn't just measured in sales results but also the impact they have to your clients.
Foster the culture and environment to encourage your sales reps to build upon their personal brand. Encourage them to professionally network within their marketplace, speak at not for profit groups, volunteer in the community and most importantly have them build their online presence starting with their LinkedIn profile.
YOUR SALES REPS PERSONAL BRANDS HELP TO BUILD YOUR CORPORATE CULTURE
Encouraging and allowing your sales reps to build their personal brands will have a major effect on recruiting and retention efforts. This portrays positivities regarding the culture of your company and provides a clear window for future sales reps to gauge how they may fit into your business culture.
Retention becomes easier when you celebrate the personal brands of your sales reps rather than squashing them behind your corporate brand. Think about this from your sales rep's perspective, wouldn’t they rather work for a company that helps them build upon their brand, helping them align to the modern buyer as opposed to being taught sales tactics from years gone by?
Now more than ever a sales reps personal brand and how they promote it is not only important to their success but to the success of your company.
TIME IS NOW - CREATE THE ENVIRONMENT
Your sales reps are front and center, the face of your company. They are out in the marketplace, leading the charge to grow your revenues. You can help by fostering an environment full of skill set development, mindset development, self-development and a continual learning atmosphere. Provide them the tools necessary to perform at their highest level.
Create the internal social environment. Think of their online and offline reputation in the same manner you think about your corporate brand. When prospects are considering doing business with one of your sales reps or a client is deciding whether or not to continue doing business with your company, the reputation of your sales team for delivering value along with social proof is mission critical.
Why all of this? Today's buyer and your clients expect a certain quality of sales rep. If they have a recognizable brand or reputation, the effectiveness of retention and upselling clients greatly increases. Word of a great sales rep spreads through customer communities and greatly improves your sales rep’s relationship with new prospects.
"It's important to build a personal brand because it's the only thing you're going to have. Your reputation online, and in the new business world is pretty much the game, so you've got to be a good person. You can't hide anything, and more importantly, you've got to be out there at some level."
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!
I'm writing a book. The title is Selling From the Heart! I'm pouring my heart into every page of this book and I think you're going to love it.Enter your email address here in this hyperlink and you'll be updated as the book is released. You'll also become part of our launch team. As a thank you, I'll have some special bonuses waiting for you!
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.