As business leaders, we know that vague concepts can be deal-killers – and something as essential to the seller-buyer paradigm as the impression your sales pros leave behind should not be left to chance. Today, there’s a whole science behind the development of one’s “personal brand.” It’s a way to elevate the strategy of working with your sales professionals to leave behind not just a business card or deck, but a palpable sense of trust, understanding, differentiation, and empathy that compels the buyer to want to do business with them.
In our experiences here at The Brooks Group, we found that helping sales professionals discover their winning brand-building formula is an essential component of sales success. Though the pathway to positive perceptions can differ for every individual, there are some essentials to personal-brand building that we find are useful in elevating impressions:
Listen to the Market: Make sure you have a process for understanding the trends in the marketplace. Check in with the people closest to your customers and find out what they’re hearing. Understand why they are coming to your company for help. Become a keen student of the data, trends, and anecdotal observations that are moving the marketplace.
Exude Expertise: It’s as important to walk the walk as it is to talk the talk. It’s not enough to simply say you understand your client’s challenges – demonstrate this knowledge. This could take the form of presenting research that you’ve gathered on their market, or a blog posted to your LinkedIn profile that posits a unique perspective on a business trend. It will go a long way toward conveying a sense of thought leadership that your clients will see as invaluable.
Be Relatable: Don’t mistake confidence with hubris. It’s as essential to appear credible and earnest as it is to be knowledgeable. And a surefire way to crush that camaraderie is to elevate your ego into the stratosphere. Present your findings and expertise in a collaborative and helpful manner. Also, read the “room.” Show that you are empathetic. Particularly in the era of COVID-19, you should moderate your tone, and not be afraid to show your vulnerable side.
Put Your Best Foot Forward: In today’s virtual world, a sloppy look is as damning as a typo in a PowerPoint deck. Both of these lapses can project a less than professional approach to the sales craft. Though it should go without saying, make sure your materials, decks, Zoom backgrounds – and yes, your attire – are at their tip-top best.
Always Be Improving: Check your metrics daily. See how you’re tracking against the competition. See how your website traffic is trending. Watch for harbingers of flagging interests and changing tastes. If something is not going in the direction you desire, be nimble and flexible enough to pivot and make course corrections to improve your throughput.