"What do you wish for people to associate with you when they think of your name?"
As sales rep,Your brand whether you believe it or not is extremely important to your success in this highly connected, digital business world.
How much time and effort are you dedicating to building your personal brand?
You do have a brand. It is what people associate with you; it is WHY your professional and personal network seeks you out for information.
Social media is everywhere. It is deeply rooted in our society. You have not only the ability but you now MUST manage your own reputation both online and offline as a sales rep. When you interact with your prospects and clients they'll build up an image of who you are over time.
You MUST be in control of all of those impressions.
Why leave your professional reputation to chance, when you can be your own public relations guru and manage your image?
Attention to all sales reps... Buyers are increasingly googling not just the company but YOU before a sales meeting. More than likely, they will also reach out to their networks or better yet they may open up the digital business door, your LinkedIn profile.
What's behind your LinkedIn door could determine your future sales success. Repeat after me the word, "VET"... Get it?
Personal branding is about taking control of the messages your prospects and clients get back. I guarantee, if you don’t control those messages then someone else will.
A great article by Michael Simmons, How To Bulletproof Your Reputation In The Digital Age. Online reputation platforms help others understand who we are and what we do. Further into the article...
Why You Need To Understand
- Your online reputation is your reputation
- Who you are in one area will be how you are perceived in all areas
- Reputation is often more important than money
- Other people can more easily make their opinions of you go viral
The question becomes, how do you become more recognizable? How do you build your authority? How do you build becoming the subject matter expert? How do you create your following?
I encouraged management to foster a branding environment and lead their sales team; guide them to create their professional brand by helping them build their credibility, trust and value through their website; their LinkedIn profile. Foster a "brand magnetized" sales culture. Creating brand magnets directly influences and can escalate your corporate brand as well.
Successful sales reps create their unique brand and rise above the noise! To all sales reps out there, please think about the following...
"How do we differentiate ourselves enough that they (prospects) want to talk to us and not feel they are getting the same story they hear from every other sales rep?"
Successful Sales Reps Become A ...
Five Creative Ways Sales Reps Can Become Brand Magnets
1. Be your authentic self
How hard would it be to build a brand around a facade? Some do, as you would have to act a certain way, appear a certain way and even communicate a certain way.
Your brand must be a reflection of who you are. You must believe it. You must own it. You must know what it stands for. You must know your strengths and your weaknesses. Wear those emotions on your business sleeve.
People connect with other people. It is all about the personal connection. If you are "blowing smoke" at people what is the likelihood they will come to trust you?
Constructing your personal brand is first and foremost about developing an understanding of your true self; then sharing this out with the business world. Take off the mask. Don't be afraid of being vulnerable.
Authenticity is a Magnet
2. Speaking engagements
Consider looking for speaking events in your area. Local business groups or not for profit organizations provide the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise while connecting with new audiences.
This helps in developing your communication skills. If you speak in exactly the same manner others do, you will never stand out from the crowd and rise above the noise.
Think about educating as you speak from a place of knowledge. Show you know what you're talking about, and answer questions in a way which serves your audience.
3. Write and publish articles or blogs
In a previous post, "Sales Reps... Why Writing Content Should Be Part Of Your Sales Strategy." I point out writing attracts prospects and builds you up as a credible resource. Salespeople can compile lists of top questions they hear from clients and prospects during sales meetings and answer them in a blog format. Potential prospects researching for those answers online could end up finding your blog posts.
Providing educational content is one the best ways to build a brand and reputation online. As your prospects or clients look for information, they tend to go back to sources most helpful to them. If you can become a trusted source of information through your educational content, over time you'll become collectively known as a subject matter expert within your field. You can start by incorporating the section "write an article" within your LinkedIn profile.
Check out my blog posts here.
4. Build your Online Presence
Have you ever "Googled" yourself? Do you know how you're appearing and coming across online? With a strong, engaging online presence you can reach a wider target audience. Why is this important? Your clients and prospects are online!
Unless you have spent the last 25 years underneath a rock, 100% of your target audience uses the internet. These days, it’s hard to find someone who does not use the internet.
As a sales professional your online presence starts with your LinkedIn profile. Positioning or repositioning your LinkedIn profile is critical as your prospect's first impression of you maybe a digital one.
If you would like my special report in how to integrate social selling into your current style, please send me an email to email@example.com
Just as you are conducting research on your prospects, they are conducting research on you. Your LinkedIn profile is one of the first links to appear in a Google search of your name. Therefore, it is imperative your profile speaks to and provides to prospective clients you are qualified to help them. Your LinkedIn profile is a great way to promote your credibility to your prospects online before you meet with them face to face. Thus, they will be more likely to take you seriously when you begin the conversation.
5. Promote, Promote and Promote Yourself - Network
Attention salespeople, integrating the use of social media is one huge key to sparking growth to your personal brand. Whether online or face to face promoting yourself fuels professional growth.
Attention! Building out a "rock star" LinkedIn profile and doing absolutely nothing with it is like hanging out in the corner of the room at a networking event.
How you capture, converse, collaborate and connect with the executive buyer will determine your sales success in the 21st century.
Engage with other individuals in your industry, social influencers who have many connections, friends, family and even clients as these people are extremely valuable in helping you spread the word about your expertise.
Professional networking events can be a great way to meet influencers in your area, as well as within the online community. Engage in community discussions whenever you can. A great place to start is uncovering and joining industry related networking groups within LinkedIn. The more opportunities you have to meet people and talk, the better.
Your personal brand is like a garden. Once you lay the groundwork, plant the seeds, fertilize along with continuous water; you'll be in a great position to eventually reap the benefits of your hard work.
Maintain a positive mindset, it takes time and dedication to nurture your brand creation. As you continue to develop your personal brand, stay consistent turning your routine into a daily habit. Pay close attention to how your audience responds to your educational content. Continually refine and perfect your direction until your focus becomes crystal clear.
If you would like some inspiration I welcome the conversation or send me a message firstname.lastname@example.org. Your comments are greatly appreciated.
In 2016, Larry was recognized by ENX Magazine, “The Difference Maker” as someone who is making a difference inside the copier channel. Larry is passionate about helping sales reps succeed in creating their online brand image
Look for more information within the Social Sales Academy blog site.
I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my LinkedIn stories. Integrating the use of LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive copier world. With great pride I transform and coach B2B Office Technology Sales Professionals to grow net new business by helping them tell their story and communicate on LinkedIn. My commitment is to help office technology dealers thrive in a changing marketplace. You can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, as well as at the Social Sales Academy