The title on your business card or LinkedIn profile may not have the word “sales” in it but everyone is a salesperson in his or her own way. After all, building a positive personal brand is all about marketing yourself in the right way. Successful salespeople have a winning mentality that includes traits admirable outside their industry. Here are six of them that are applicable to strengthen your own personal brand:
- Talk “with” people. People tend to think that in order for others to like them, they need to highlight all of the good about themselves. In reality, people respond with much more warmth if the conversation revolves around them. Find the relevancy with the other half of every conversation. What matters to that person? What do you have to offer that can meet his or her needs?
- Keep your promises. If a salesperson offered you a great deal, but then your credit card was charged for a higher price, you would avoid dealing with that individual in the future. The same is true of making non-sales promises, financial or otherwise. If you want people to trust you and come to you in the future, you must follow through on what you say.
- Ask for a commitment. Before a salesperson concludes a meeting or phone call, he or she asks the prospective buyer for action. Maybe that comes in the form of a sale, or perhaps setting a time for a follow up conversation. You can apply this concept to your own personal branding too. Hold people accountable with a follow up request, and expect the same from them.
- Prepare. Sales consultant and author Nancy Bleeke works with Fortune 500 companies to maximize sales efficiency. She says that the biggest problem she sees when she first arrives is lack of preparation on the part of the sales and support staff. Decide what you want to accomplish upfront and then lay out the steps it will take to get there. You cannot expect to achieve your goal without figuring out how to get there.
- Keep up the courtship. It is so easy to move from one task to the next without much regard for past accomplishments. If you own a business, or maintain a client list, you already know the value of keeping in touch with former customers. Perhaps you are trying to build up your personal brand in your industry. Interact with the people on a consistent basis, and certainly after they have helped you achieve something. Don’t worry about bugging your prospects either. Just as it is easier to make a repeat sale than a new one, it is more beneficial to call on established contacts when you need their help than make introductions with new ones.
- Manage your time. The way you handle your own time speaks volumes to the value you place on the time of other people. A salesperson will not miss a scheduled call or appointment, unless that person is ready to forfeit the sale. If you are always running behind, or turning things in late, it reads that you don’t quite have your act together, so why should anyone else trust you to handle their affairs?
Selling a product, like selling your own image, means proving yourself through consistency, preparation and follow-up. Which of these are part of your own personal branding plan?
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.