This isn’t about your preferred brand of a particular consumer good. What is YOUR brand? What brand have you developed for yourself with customers?
Brand refers to the reputation a product or service has earned over time. It evolves based on a combination of the style and substance delivered. Certainly the brand of goods and services you sell carries over to your personal brand with customers. But make no mistake – every sales professional develops his or her own separate brand with customers based more so on how they do business than what business they represent. Take a moment to enter the “Odds Are” of your customers, relative to the brand they see when you walk through their door…
Start with the SUBSTANCE of your personal brand. This is where the company you represent will have the biggest impact. Assuming we all sell products or services we are proud of, the substance you bring to your sales process includes your product knowledge, your knowledge of your customer’s business and the value of your input based on both. Are you genuinely knowledgeable? A consistently reliable source of information? Or are you a blowhard with a tendency to throw out facts and figures that you’ve pulled out of thin air? Do you give advice with your customer’s best interest at heart, versus just to make a sale? How’s your follow through? Do you consistently do what you say you’re going to do when you say you are going to do it? Are you progressive – engaging the newest resources and technologies for the benefit of your customers?
How about the STYLE aspect of your brand? Are you well groomed and well dressed? Well spoken? Polite? Are you punctual and respectful of customers’ time? How about your demeanor? Warm and engaging, yet completely professional, is a proven winner! We all understand that style is a very personal matter. As your customer, I don’t have to like the color or pattern of your shirt. More important is whether your shirt is spotless, pressed and appropriate (ladies) for a business setting. I’ll overlook a bad haircut, but unshaven or uncombed is a different story.
Our personal brand is a factor in every customer relationship, every sale and every conversation. It is also one factor that is completely within our control. In those ultra-competitive selling situations, it could also be the deciding factor.
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