Sales professionals, second to C-Level management are some of the most judged professionals in the corporate world, both by colleagues and their too, I believe because much of the company performance in terms of revenue rests on the performance of the Sales Department. The sales profession sometimes seems like one of the most rewarding positions within the corporate sector, the commissions and perks associated with the job are mostly good. But it also is one of the most demanding positions of all, requires a set of skills that are crucial to performing well and in most corporations, earnings are tied to performance. How then shall a Sales Professional go about working their brand to stellar heights and maintaining influence within their industry? That is what this article is all about.
The scope of a brand has been known to be one of the most indispensable characteristics of a strong brand. The narrower the scope of a brand, the stronger and more effective it will be. My stand is that a good sales professional should stick within one industry to be able to create influence and authority in understanding the market trends, customer behavior and competition. Specializing in one area is of great benefit to building a strong brand of a sales professional in terms of experience and expertise. Being in the same industry for a long time makes the client believe you have the ability to help them because you probably in your experience have met someone else with problems similar to theirs. You also have the advantage of language, you understand the jargons and general lingua of the industry and are able to quickly see their pain point and provide tailor made solutions just for them. You are an expert based on your industry experience.
How you look when you go out to sell is one of the most important aspects of your sales career. How do the high performers in your industry dress? How do the experts in your field present themselves? Once this question is answered you are able to know what kind of image to portray to your clients to provide the best perspective of yourself. Look like the experts in your field, simple.
Prospecting has changed
With the advent of social media and other wonderful tools like Linkedin, prospecting has been made a little easier and you can be able to connect with your clients without necessarily cold-calling or cold visits. Targeting has also been made a lot easier and you are able to get a lot of information about your client online before you meet them. This saves you a lot of time and gives you an upper hand when you meet the client because you have already gathered enough intelligence by the time to meet them. You are better prepared for the meeting and you already have a few proposed solutions based on the pain points you were able to identify before you met the client.
Social media is a good tool to use by sales professionals to first of all position themselves as experts, provide value in content and connect with prospective buyers. By this I don’t mean you turn your social handles into a business commercial, there is a reason they are called “social sites”. One must learn to find a balance between socializing and still keeping the outlook of an expert. Some of the best prospects by the way are found through socializing, it helps create a common ground between you and your prospects.
Be a Consultant
People have a natural sales resistance, it is kind of automatic. The moment they hear anything that sound like a sales pitch, they automatically switch off and the same goes for commercials. Today, you want to come off as a consultant and not a salesperson to overcome the natural sales resistance in prospects. The way to be a consultant means you gather as much intelligence as possible to help you get to the exact pain point of the customer and here, you are way close to your close. When you show up or call, show up the way experts in your field show up and what does a consultant do? They ask questions. I’m sure you’ve heard from somewhere that the one who asks the questions has the power. Be that consultant that is out to provide solutions to a client’s problem, not a salesman looking to make sense with numbers. It’s true that sales is a numbers game but don’t let your prospects catch that energy, be the expert that is here to provide a solution by striving to understand their pain points and give the most appropriate solution.
Promote Yourself and Give Value
Find creative ways to put yourself out there as the expert in your field. Take part in conversations either on social media or in professional gatherings where your knowledge can be of value to others, give value to your peers and sometimes even offer to train less skilled individuals around you. Look for opportunities to attend and even speak in some events to tell others that you’re here and you are knowledgeable in what you do. Create content that gives value on social sites including Linkedin where there is a platform for writing articles. You can also do video content which is by far one of the best methods of giving value to your audience. Content is one of the best ways of stamping authority with what you do and within your area of expertise and industry.
Choose your niche, Start giving Value, Dress like a professional, and put yourself out there, build the brand of an Expert!