We are all really in sales, no matter what we do, but our approach has had to change from traditional models.
Selling has always been about communication and education. 21st century salesmanship leads with building the trust of “who is selling” rather than what they are selling.
The consumer wants to know that who is selling them is authentic, reputable and has a proven track record of integrity. Respecting the intelligence of the consumer in the sales process is one of the smartest things we should do and show.
I spent two decades in broadcast radio sales and management with some of the top media companies. I was an award winning new business salesperson because I was a great prospector and networker. As I look back now, I realize that I was building my professional brand at the same time. I didn’t know it then.
It was a lot simpler to prospect when it was only traditional media. The current media landscape includes hundreds of media outlets, websites and platforms. The good news is if you can find the right blend of face to face and online networking, you can build your brand, your reach and uncover some quality prospects all at the same time.
Used to be you went “cold calling”, that numbers game, which we actually still do. But, going door to door in a neighborhood, business area, office building is obsolete. Companies and people don’t want to be “cold called or intruded upon anymore” by strangers. We now call this SPAM and it is quite annoying.
The days of canvassing businesses unannounced are gone, passé.
Today giving people “reasons to buy” from us, providing solutions for them, and showing our results, as opposed to “sport selling” them just to make a sale or commission are our best practices.
Here are 25 ways to brand yourself and mine new prospects and categories at the same time
Choose what activities works best for you, create a purposeful strategy and plan and be consistent. If you network with the right people, they will lead you to others.
2-Niche Networking Groups
11-Internet Podcast Radio
15-Sponsoring Community Events
23-Grand Opening Announcements
25-Research, Trends and Reports
Smart, purposeful networking gives you the opportunity to put yourself out there authentically and build relationships first. The selling will follow if it’s supposed to.
I have used most of these 25 activities at different times and ways, but these top 10 activities used consistently, in an integrated way have yielded me the best results: chambers, professional organizations, social media, blogging, radio podcasting, email marketing, volunteering, sponsorships, speaking, workshops.
What are the top ways you brand yourself and mine new prospects and categories for business?
Deborah Shane is Top 100 Small Business Champion 2012, Career Author, branding/media strategist, writer and speaker. She hosts her Toolbox Blog and a popular weekly Business Radio Show that has over 108K downloads! She is a regular contributor to SmallBizTrends.com, Monster, Blogher, PersonalBrandingBlog.com, Forbes.com. Her book Career Transition-make the shift is available on Amazon.com and all major book sellers. Deborah delivers smart ideas and solutions, which make her a popular go-to resource for CNN, CBS, Fox and Forbes.