This post originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse and has been adapted for use on this blog with kind permission of Larry Levine.
“Referrals aren’t easily given. If you don’t take the time to establish credibility, you’re not going to get the referral. People have to get to know you. They have to feel comfortable with who you are and what you do.”
How is your digital sales rep doing? I know, what the heck are you talking about? As a sales professional think of your online presence as the digital sales representation of you. How you choose to use your digital self will have a direct effect on your sales process, your sales success and your sales career.
Allow me to set the stage… Mirror Mirror on the digital wall, who’s the fairest one of all?
Your online reputation along with your online presence is your brand. Your brand is what your client’s and potential clients are seeing when they look through the digital window into who you are. Therefore, your online presence precedes anything else when it comes to making a first impression for you.
If a potential client is looking at your web presence, it’s to get an idea of who you are, what you are all about and are you bringing the goods. If they are to choose between two people with equal credentials, social media, and your social presence may come into play. This reminds of a recent post of mine – Why Should I Talk with You Continued… Don’t Be An Empty Suit!
People won’t ever engage in a business conversation nor buy from you if they don’t even understand why they should pay attention to you.
In this fast-paced, highly connected and extremely networked business environment; your online presence will make you or possibly break you. Your online presence matters:
- It’s often times the first impression of you
- They (your potential client) will either find you or they will find your competitor
- Buyers are self-educators
- It’s an extremely powerful customer service weapon
Monitor your online presence or someone else will, think about it.
Your Digital Story – How Well Is It Told?
Why are so many B2B sales reps struggling with this online, digital sales world? Sales reps are wrestling to secure net new business at the same rate as they did before, why? Quite simple, their client and prospect conversations have become more sophisticated and a majority of sales reps haven’t caught up.
Successful sales professionals can tell the right story. Unfortunately, not all in sales can tell that story as no rep can tell the right story every single time.
According to Marc Lindwall at Forrester Research, 78% of executive buyers claim salespeople don’t have relevant examples or case studies to share with them, and 77% say salespeople don’t understand their company’s issues or where they can help. If you are not tailoring your story to every different prospect you are not going to win the deal.
Questions for you all to think about…
- How many of your clients know your story?
- Those clients who know your story how willing are they to promote your story?
How are you effectively marketing yourself as a sales rep when nobody knows you exist in your marketplace?
Is Your Digital Self, Digitally Referable?
All of this digital storytelling got me thinking about how referable are you based on your online presence. With predictability, can your online presence and your online story inspire your clients to refer business conversations your way? For those who want expert knowledge on predictable referral selling (check out my man Mike Garrison, the referral machine). The way you build predictable referrals is based on relationships, experiences, and stories.
Could your current clients refer you with confidence based on your story as it is told within your LinkedIn profile?
Here lies my concern – How many sales reps truly give a “rip” about their online presence? How many sales reps can truly articulate their story, their value proposition and what they bring to the business table via their online presence?
In order for you as a sales rep to become digitally referable, you must care about your clients.
Your clients are the lifeblood of your success. No clients, no business. Think of a servant led mindset and lead with your heart to serve them and bring about a positive change. Make the commitment to yourself and spend quality time with your clients so they understand your story.
Know thyself know thy client.
- You must think about your clients more than your competitors.
- You must give your clients reasons to stick around by providing an outstanding experience.
- You must focus on their success, not your success.
- You must make them feel important.
Sales reps must take the time to truly get to know their clients. I encourage you all to ask these questions to each and every one of your clients…
What is the difference I have made to your business?
What value do my services, products or solutions create for you?
How do you truly know your clients and how well do they truly know you?
This question alone can become the cornerstone, the defining moment and your pathway to many great stories.
If any one of your current clients refer their friends or their network to you then what does your online presence, your LinkedIn profile have to say about you?
To all sales reps… If you don’t know the value you bring to your current clients then how the heck can you go out and prospect for new business? How can you clearly start your business story? Your clients are a wealth of sales help all you need to do is ask.
As you start to nail your unique value proposition and when done correctly, this will engage the hearts and minds of your clients and future clients.
Encourage your clients to go out and spread the word for you to your target audience. What better form of a thank you than having your clients helping you to grow your business.
No Digital Surprises!
In today’s digital age, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to your online reputation. Your online footprint, as well as your reputation, play an increasingly important role in determining your professional sales success. Don’t take them for granted. Become proactive and diligently manage what’s being said about you!
Are you digitally referable?
If you would like some inspiration I welcome the conversation or send me a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your comments are greatly appreciated.
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