Your Brand

You hear a lot of talk these days about building your personal brand. What exactly does that mean?

Marketing gurus have historically talked about company brands such as Coca Cola, Chevrolet and Nordstrom’s. 

How does a personal brand fit into your business and more importantly how does it give you a competitive advantage to win more business?

Answers to those questions will come shortly but let’s first look at how you identify your personal brand and what your personal brand means to your potential clients.

Your brand is not just your reputation but quite simply what you stand for, what you have to offer and how others view you.  How do your current customers and prospects view you and what do they say about you?  You may not know it but they are talking about you positively or negatively based on the experiences they’ve had in the past.

We mentioned that your personal brand is what you stand for and that ties directly with your character, your integrity and doing what you say you’re going to do.  It also has to do with first impressions and ongoing relationship development.

Your brand is who you are.  Your brand is your personality, your beliefs, what you say, stances you take, your Facebook page, your Twitter posts and your LinkedIn profile.

Knowing your brand and using it as a competitive advantage in the marketplace is huge.  It is your own personal USP (Unique Selling Proposition).

Your brand cannot be manufactured.  It is the set of traits that make you, you; it’s the authentic real you.  Customers will see you in this light and that can truly become a differentiator in landing more sales and a lot more income.

How do you build your brand?

  • Understand your values in business and how they relate to what you’re selling.  Incorporate those values in your daily interactions, presentations and everyday meetings.
  • Think about what matters to you and how your product or service will make life better for your customers.
  • Is your product or service changing the world?  Improving lives?  Making a difference to people?  Providing joy to others?  Solving problems?

Take some time to reflect on these questions.  What is the story of your life and how was it shaped?  How do I incorporate these stories into my business and my sales process?

Here are a few tips to get you started.  Taking the time to do this exercise will make a difference in your sales career and ultimately your long term success.

  • Look at Your Past Successes in Life and Business - What major problem did you solve for a customer and how can you work that into your current sales presentation?
  • Become a Story Teller - We all love stories that engage and get us thinking.  From the time we were little, we’ve been told stories through books, shows and movies.  What stories can you talk about that will create visual images in your prospect or customer’s minds?  Include them in your daily conversations and presentations.
  •  Ask Great Questions – You’ve probably heard that the best conversationalists are often the ones that aren’t doing the talkingThey are asking great questions and getting others to talk about themselves, their problems, their needs and more importantly what they want.  Unfortunately, sales people aren’t very good at this because often we just want to speak about our product’s features & benefits without really listening to what our customers really want.
  • Be Consultative & Deliver Real Value – Great sales people have tremendous empathy for their prospects and customers meaning they truly understand what it’s like to “walk in their shoes.”  Being able to understand what challenges your customer faces on a day to day basis will give you a definite advantage in the sales process.  From there, being able to deliver valuable content that will help your customer vs. their competition is a real differentiator.  You must be able to help them solve their daily problems and provide valuable solutions that enable them to succeed.
  • Connect Your Brand – We talked about creating your own personal USP.  Go beyond that and start your own website with valuable content, start a blog, utilize social media to spread your message.  Connect your brand to everything you do and be consistent in your messages.  Create a power title and use it in your communications.