DARE TO SELL YOUR OWN BRAND, NOT A PRODUCT
As a sales rep, you are your toughest customer. So, you know everything there is to know about your product or service. You are excited about it, you can’t live without it, you would invest in it, but why should your potential client? Why should he trust you and share with you the same excitement.
What am I selling?
When customers buy from you, what are they really buying? Is it just your product or service? In essence, what they should be actually buying is you. And if they don’t like you, they won’t feel compelled to buy from you. And this is why many sales people fail. They focus too much on their product. Why their product is better, why it’s better looking, why it’s less expensive, why their prospects should buy it.
Before anybody is going to buy from you or your company, they’ve got to “buy” the idea that you’re somebody worth working with. In other words, your first task is always to sell yourself. But what does it mean?
Selling is something we all do naturally but we can all improve on it. When you are interviewing for a job, if you want a promotion… Even in our personal life, we have to persuade our friend to go see a movie (you may have not to insist that much for an after-work beer…) or our wife or husband to marry us.
Open your own Brand toolbox
In order to effectively sell yourself, you have to think about your value proposition. What do you do best? Who can you best serve? What are your strengths and talents? What makes you different? After answering all of those questions, you can get a better sense of who you are, what you can do and who you can serve. Your value proposition should be very specific so that you can stand out among your peers and it should be concise so people remember it. This is YOUR Brand.
The brand impression you own and will pass to others must last and must be perceived as distinctive, relevant and consistent, whatever it is or tells. Consistency is the key component in building a strong brand.
Your Brand represents the behaviors you constantly exhibit fulfilling your different roles. They are the behaviors that will have the most significant influence on how others perceive you.
Stand out from the crowd
Keep in mind that there is one thing that is 100% unique about your product offering. One thing that can make it stand out from the crowd. It’s YOU! it is your Brand. You are unique to your offering because there is no one like you. You have your strengths, your knowledge, and your experience. No one else will use the words you use, they will not position the product the same way you would, and they surely would not be able to sell it like you. So instead of spending all of your time selling your product, why not spend a little time focusing on selling yourself to the prospect.
There are some brands standards characteristics that can really help you stand out. What are yours?
Make an impact on others
Selling yourself more than your product is an important thing to do during the length of any client relationship. The style you will give your brand gives it its own personality. Remember again, you’re unique. No one else is like you. So, your style is how you make an impression in someone else’s mind and how you reinforce people’s perception. You can be approachable, caring, dynamic, honest, sincere, friendly. All are attributes that characterize your brand style.
Your brand will be and is your soul. It is the driving force that energizes you in everything you do and the characteristics you are most proud to display. It is the single dominant attribute of your personal dimension – the one whose nature permeates everything else. In many ways, it is what makes you distinctive and it correlates with your most prized personal value.
I remember a client who was telling me how much he preferred the competitive product, a medical capital equipment, worth 100k€+, though he hadn’t bought any of both, mine nor the competition.
Because he knew he could trust me, this one of my own Brand standards, and that objectivity is one of my few but strong and solid brand attributes, we agreed for a 3 days demo in his hospital. But instead of talking about my product offering, we spent a lot more time talking about each other. My experience, what I’ve seen in the industry so far, what was his experience with my competitor. And most important, what would be his own benefits, not working with the product, but working with me. He agreed initially to invited ME, not the product in his institution. He was more interested in getting to know ME in addition to what my product can do relative to the competition. We concluded the sale on the morning of the 3rd day, and could then focus a little more of some features my product had.
Remember that you have to sell yourself just as much, sometimes more, than you are selling your product.
Consistency. Consistency. Consistency
You will build confidence and expertise in being your brand. Others will trust you more.
Selling yourself more than your product or service is a fundamental part of your business success. But you’ve got to know and practice selling yourself. Bring the value, the authenticity, and the know-how.
- Be “Brand proud” : The courage to emphasize your brand in any circumstance will give others the confidence to believe in your abilities and convictions.
- Be authentic. You will always be more successful by acting more of who you are rather than who you think you should be. The real brand on the inside will make the biggest impact with others.
That leads to my last word, kind of a secret I want to share. But is it really? : It is NOT that YOU sell , it’s to make sure THEY buy!