From the editor: This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
Peyton Manning, is the true personification of what it means to be a quarterback in the National Football League. He was the first one at the practice facility to work out, first to watch game film and then off to the practice field for 3 hours. He not only studied offensive schemes but he would also study the defensive coordinator he’d be facing in the next game. He wanted to know what the defense was preparing to do.
Imagine a sales rep studying their competition to know how well to sell against them?
Peyton Manning never rested on his laurels. I encourage sales reps to please take notes. He prepared like no other quarterback before him. He didn’t care about how many Twitter followers or Instagram likes nor how many sports cars he owned; he stayed true to himself on what mattered most, preparation to play the game.
He built a football legacy on the field and off the field he built a branding empire. What I admire most about Peyton Manning was he stayed true himself. He was genuine, authentic and was definitely not fake when it came to building his brand.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”
Sales Reps Can Build a Brand Just Like Peyton Manning
As sales rep, your brand whether you believe it or not is extremely important to your success in this highly connected, digital business world.
How much time and effort are you dedicating to building your personal brand?
You do have a brand. It is what people associate with you; it is WHY your professional and personal network seeks you out for information.
Social media is everywhere. It is deeply rooted in our society and it is not going away. You have not only the ability but you now MUST manage your own reputation both online and offline as a sales rep. When you interact with your prospects and clients they’ll build up an image of who you are over time.
Personal branding is about taking control of the messages your prospects and clients get back. I guarantee, if you don’t control those messages then someone else will and it won’t be pretty.
”Your personal brand is what differentiates you from others.”
You need to understand:
- Your online reputation is your reputation
- Who you are in one area will be how you are perceived in all areas
- Reputation is often more important than money
- Other people can more easily make their opinions of you go viral
The question becomes, how do you become more recognizable? How do you build your authority? How do you build becoming the subject matter expert? How do you create your following?
“How do we differentiate ourselves enough that they (prospects) want to talk to us and not feel they are getting the same story they hear from every other sales rep?”
3 Things to Consider as You Build Your Brand as a Sales Rep
Understanding who you are is your launching pad and how this relates to opening up new conversations with your prospects and clients. How you communicate your unique promise of value is what will separate you from your competition.
- Be authentic.
How hard would it be to build a brand around a facade? Some do, as you would have to act a certain way, appear a certain way and even communicate a certain way.
Your brand must be a reflection of who you are. You must believe it. You must own it. You must know what it stands for. You must know your strengths and your weaknesses. Wear those emotions on your business sleeve.
People connect with other people. It is all about the personal connection. If you are “blowing smoke” at people what is the likelihood they will come to trust you?
Your clients and prospects deserve an authentic experience. B.S. meters are at an all- time high as people can tell the difference when we they see sales pitches from time high as people can tell the difference when we they see sales pitches from salespeople who do not care. There is no passion, the sense of “why” is missing. Those exhibiting a heart for sales and a focus on their clients bring an air of authenticity into the room.
Check out my podcast “Selling from the Heart.”
- Be the real deal.
Be genuine and not a fake. Be real, sincere and honest. Prospects know when you’re being yourself. Prospects are more likely to respond favorably and will more likely come back to you again and again when they see you as a real person or even a friend- instead of just as salesperson.
Being genuine is a rare quality. Today’s business world is full of phony fads, social media hype, virtual fake personas as nobody’s content to be who they are nor are they willing to admit to it.
- Be helpful.
If you are truly being yourself, instead of being an “all about me” sales rep, you are going to seem like an interested individual, in the minds of your prospect and client; not like a sales rep who is looking for another commission check by leading with their wallet not their heart. The foundation of who I am as a sales professional is built around being helpful.
“Offer to help without expecting anything in return as this will come back tenfold.”
Build the Peyton Manning Brand
Your brand as a sales rep is everything in the business world today. I encourage you to take your online and offline presence seriously. You get one shot to make a great first impression. Observe and pay attention to the people that have large followings and influence for the right reasons.
Maintaining and marketing your unique personal brand assists in building trust and credibility with your clients and prospects. Buyers today have come to expect a certain quality of sales professional. A recognizable sales brand and reputation spreads like wildfire. Word spreads through customer communities and greatly improves opening up new conversations and relationships with new prospects, as well.
Your personal brand is like a garden. Once you lay the groundwork, plant the seeds, fertilize along with continuous water; you’ll be in a great position to eventually reap the benefits of your hard work.
I ask you to send some time and reflect upon how you portray yourself through your clients or prospects business lens.
As you think about your personal brand, I ask you to think about this …
“What is the perception of your value through the eyes of your buyer and existing customers?”
If you would like some inspiration I welcome the conversation or send me a message to email@example.com. Your comments are greatly appreciated.
This post originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse and has been adapted for use on this blog with kind permission of Larry Levine.
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