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Today’s top salespeople don’t rely on acting like gatekeepers during the sales process. It is no longer just about qualifying and converting leads which come your way. The highest-performing sales professionals are those that actively position themselves as a go-to resource within their given market. Let’s consider some key steps to help your personal brand grow.
Distinguish your Personal Brand
Building a personal brand with a unique selling proposition - based on your expertise, experience, or skills - will help show you to be an influencer in your field and stand out from the crowd and set you up for longer term success.
To stand out from other sales pros out there vying for market share, start by identifying what makes you a better guide than your peers when it comes to helping prospects navigate through the buying process.
Consider what unique attributes you own which will show you to be a credible resource:
Is it a particular skill such as social selling or pitching?
Is it your experience within a sector?
Is it your ability to share authentic and helpful content with buyers?
Perhaps you already have a strong network and are ready to leverage that community to share ideas and grow your personal brand?
Build an Online Presence
Providing education through content is a powerful and trusted channel for salespeople wishing to develop and grow their online brand within a specific market. Content, of course, comes in many forms and can include written articles, podcasts, videos, webinars and in-person speaking sessions. For now, let’s focus on your online brand.
A key part of building your personal brand as a sales professional is to own a digital base that belongs to you entirely and where you can publish your content and interact with your audience and social media presence on a channel that you (not your current employer) owns.
In the shorter term, you can start sharing your expertise through social channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
To be taken seriously as a thought leader, you’ll need a to connect your channels through a website or blog and build out a longer term content calendar. With so many simple CMS options out there, anyone with modest online skills can create a site quickly. The bigger challenge is often writing the copy for your pages, articles and insights to grow the longer-term following. Be mindful, however, of your employment contract and any restrictions it may place on business-related projects you can and cannot manage outside of brand properties.
Leveraging Your Brand and Social Selling
Once you’ve established your brand, it is time to put it out there. Arguably the biggest and most impactful way to leverage the power of your new personal brand is through social selling.
If you’re going to start small, it’s key that you choose a channel where your target audience demographic ‘hangs out’ so that you can maximize your exposure and engagement to them.
As the selling landscape continues to shift, (social selling becomes the norm, and AI continues to streamline processes), the top-performing companies of the future will be those who invest in providing their sales execs with the knowledge and tools to grow their personal brands and exploit communication technologies.
What Are You Waiting For?
Start building your personal brand today. It takes time so why not start laying the foundations?
Ideally, your company will recognise the longer-term benefits to their bottom line in helping your efforts to grow your personal brand.
To those managers out there who are worried about their employees growing their personal brands and then flying the nest.. sure, eventually salespeople will leave the company with an enhanced personal brand. That’s inevitable. But while they are with you, they will open up new networks and opportunities with which companies who are still afraid of allowing employees to utilise newer social selling methods, simply cannot compete.
About the Canadian Professional Sales Association
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