Whatever your business, who you are and people’s perceptions of you will have a big impact on your success when it comes to selling. Being seen as a credible expert who is approachable and helpful, will reflect well on your business and work to ‘pull’ people to your business rather than having to rely on ‘push’ selling and marketing to get noticed.
You know your business better than anyone, and with a little groundwork you can make that knowledge work for you by becoming the go-to expert in your own field:
Know what you do
As a salesperson you probably have to explain what it is that you do very regularly, to everyone from potential clients and to that annoying uncle at a family gathering. Rather than waffle on trying to explain, take the time to come up with a single succinct sentence that really sums it up.
Think about what you do, what makes you different and who your clients are. If you can sum it up into a punchy soundbite that is very easy to understand, it will make you stand out in the minds of those you talk to, and potentially lead to positive recommendations and referrals. It is much better to stand out and be remembered as the expert in your own particular niche than try to be a jack of all trades.
People buy from people
In today’s digital world, real human interaction with companies is increasingly scarce. However, people still like to connect with people, so don’t be afraid to be the friendly face of your company when it comes to publicity in order to show a human side of your business.
By profiling yourself as an expert within the business, rather than just focusing on the product or service, you can add the kind of personality and credibility that will really make you and the company stand out. After all, you are a big part of what makes it unique, so let that shine through so people can make a stronger human connection with your brand.
Share your story, your vision and your expertise
It is widely reported that customer loyalty is decreasing in many cases, yet some of the world’s top brands manage to connect with consumers on a deeper level than ever before. Customers really buy into these brands’ story and vision, to the point that they eagerly anticipate new products and services making selling a whole lot easier. When you think of brands like Apple, Innocent, Google or Tesla you not only think of their products but also the people behind the business and what they are trying to achieve.
These brands obviously have huge marketing budgets behind them, but remember that you are the expert in your own particular field and your business has its own vision that you are a big part of. As a salesperson you can seek out opportunities to write blogs, speak or contribute articles or comment for online and print publications to get noticed by the right people, and give yourself a head start when it comes to making a sale.
Some people worry that by writing too extensively about their field of expertise they’re giving away their help for free. For example, if you’re selling marketing software, nobody is going to want to pay for your product if potential customers can just read how to do it for themselves in your blog, right? Well actually, what you are really doing it demonstrating your understanding of the topic and the needs of your audience, which positions you as the right kind of person to help them. Plus, blog posts and published articles are great to 'pull' in clients, especially when it comes to search engines, making it much easier for potential clients to find you in the first place.
Consumers today have more potential touchpoints with a company than ever before, and social media plays a huge role in this, particularly when it comes to connecting on a personal level. Take the time to focus on your own online footprint, as well as that of your company, and you can add credibility and compel others to want to engage with you as the expert within your business. Using LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook enables you to share your content, connect with influential people and build your target audience’s awareness of what the real people behind your brand are working to achieve.
But remember, the key word in social media is ‘social’ – you’re trying to be the interesting, helpful and entertaining person who posts things your clients will like, not the salesperson who simple uses it as another channel to just keep pushing their product.