The sales landscape has changed. As a salesperson, if you don’t have a defined personal brand, you’re losing the opportunity to stand out and attain higher perceived value in the eyes of your prospects. When you’re competing in the digital age, the element of human connection is so much more valuable. Building and maintaining strong emotional connections to your personal brand, as well as your company brand, can mean the difference between winning business with a client and being kicked out the door. Read on to learn how to develop your personal brand to achieve sales success.
Benefits of a Solid Personal Brand in Sales
Building a personal brand allows sales professionals to relate to prospects and make real human connections. Here are just a few of the top benefits of having a solid personal brand in sales.
- Build emotional connections and authentic relationships
- Gain credibility as a thought leader
- Ability to leverage your network across channels
- Leadership opportunities
And there’s more where that came from. You understand the value of personal branding, but how can you set yourself up for success when designing your brand? Consider these 7 tactics to expand your personal brand.
1. Align Your Personal Brand With Your Company Brand
Ensuring business fit and culture fit between your organization and your client’s organization is something the client will consider heavily as you enter into the initial consideration phase. It is important to make your company’s brand position clear and show how you are an expert facilitator of and advocate for the brand. It doesn’t do much good if the client likes you personally, but doesn’t see the value of the company or product you represent. Along with that, the impression you make in person should match how you promote yourself online.
2. Be Sincere
Today, it’s harder than ever to build trust. Transparency is important to make prospects feel comfortable opening up to you and hearing you out. Make a personal connection. You’re not going to be able to make a connection with everyone, but be up front about some of your personal interests so people will see you have something in common. Don’t be afraid to talk about some of your unique or specific interests. If you love whiskey tasting or you’ve made it a goal to visit every baseball stadium in the country as part of your bucket list, those are interests that show your personality and authenticity.
3. Identify What Makes You Unique
What are you really great at? What makes you a thought leader in your industry? Those aspects that make you great at your job should be the focus areas of your personal brand. Your audience will perceive you the way you initially present yourself. Want them to know you’re loyal and committed to your clients? Show examples. Give proof of how you’ve exemplified those traits in the past with other clients and how the work you did presented them with unprecedented business success. A few ways to garner credibility might include industry speaking engagements or writing thought leadership pieces for your company website or LinkedIn.
4. Utilize Social Selling
There’s no question that social selling should be a requirement of all sales professionals.
All channels where your personal brand is presented need to align, both in the digital space and in person. Your social channels are especially important, because these are the places where prospects who haven’t met you yet get their first impression. Make sure your profile picture is the same across channels and have solid recommendations from former and current clients as well as coworkers and supervisors. Having a LinkedIn profile that is client-facing vs. tailored for recruiters helps present your brand in a way that is aligned with your company brand, so it’s easier to understand what expertise you have and what value you bring to the table. Learn more about how to build up your social selling chops.
5. Get Involved In Your Community
Build your brand by getting involved in charitable organizations that you’re passionate about. Volunteering and serving on boards at these organizations give you the opportunity to network with like-minded, philanthropic people. Don’t just say that you support children’s health programs on your LinkedIn profile, go become an advocate for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or become a mentor at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
6. Use a Team-Based Sales Approach
Selling is no longer just about a sales person. A sales team can include a sales engineer, strategist, creative director and other team members. The sales person should be an advocate for them to extend their brand as well. Don’t talk just about yourself and what you can do for a client, talk about your brand as well as your target audience.
7. Make Human Connections
Having a solid personal brand connects you with relevant people and allows you to form valuable relationships with them—for both sides. The secret to sales success really does lie in the human connection.