The numbers are turning increasingly negative for salespeople: more people are competing with you to get a slot on the prospect’s calendar at the very moment when more available information has plenty of prospects convinced they don’t need to see salespeople at all. If you want to meet your goals in an environment as tough as that, your approach needs to be very together, very tight, very toned. But most salespeople have an approach that could only be described as weak—often because their personal brand is flabby.
Not to fear! I will be your personal brand’s trainer. One of my specialties is helping B2B sellers get into shape, and I can help you, too. (Note for those who dread working out: don’t worry, no sweat will be involved in this process, but you will get results if you put in the work.)
Your Personal Brand is More Important Than You Think
Getting an appointment these days is the survival of the fittest. As a salesperson, you’re automatically lumped into a group of who-knows-how-many other salespeople who are all trying to get a meeting with the same person (your competitors for time on the prospect’s calendar are far more numerous than those you compete directly against to sell your product or service). You have to stand out and break away from the pack. You have to demonstrate to prospects that they can trust you not to waste their time. Your personal brand can make or break your success. It has great power to help build your credibility, demonstrate your expertise, and set you apart from every other salesperson (especially those with an out-of-shape brand). Your personal brand gives your prospects a quick snapshot of why they might want to take time out of their day to meet with you.
Passing The Google Test
Think of The Google Test as a fitness challenge for your personal brand. It’s more and more common for prospects you’re calling on to Google you before they respond. When they type your name into a search engine, what will they find? They’ll probably click on 2 or 3 links among the first 5 or 6 that pop up in the organic search results. What they see there is the most credible, most important information about you—in other words, that’s your brand! Passing The Google Test means that what searchers find at the top of the search results is fit, not flabby; it makes them want to schedule time with you.
What if You Don’t Like What You Find When You Search for Your Name?
If you didn’t appear in the first page of the search results when you searched online for your name, that’s okay. You can change that in two simple steps.
Step 1: Set up Your LinkedIn Account with Prospects in Mind
This is key. Show prospects why they should trust you and want to do business with you. Put yourself in their shoes. What sets you apart from the other people who want to do business with them? Put that in your LinkedIn profile. Share client testimonials? Set the prospect’s expectations. Keep the information consistent. Make sure you have an attention-grabbing headline that gives a good snapshot of what you're about and use it in all of your profiles. Think of your headline as your “elevator pitch” in one sentence.
Step 2: Share
Once you’ve got everything set up, don’t stop there. Get in the habit of sharing or commenting on something a few times each week. Use those social networks like they’re your Nautilus machines. As with exercise, those who are consistent are more successful than those who are not.
Social sharing is a quick and easy way to get your brand into excellent shape. In fact, it’s one of the easiest ways to jack up your rank in search engine results. You just have to do it and do it consistently—so add it to your schedule like you put gym visits on your schedule. Along with increasing your search rank, sharing will keep you in front of your connections, allow people to see you as a thought leader, and build your credibility.
Harness the Power of Your Personal Brand to Get More Appointments
Subscribe to a few relevant blogs, and share pieces you genuinely enjoyed. If your company has a blog, share that, too!
Consistently share relevant and interesting content. Make comments on posts you liked, and when you share, make sure to link to the author in the post so they know you’re spreading the love. Soon, your connections will see you as an expert in your field.
Make sure your personal brand is easy to share. Put your profile links in your email signature and ask prospects to connect with you. This not only shows your own confidence in your brand, but also gives prospects the chance to see what you’re all about.
It doesn’t seem so hard, right? Make sure you’re harnessing the power of your personal brand to get more appointments. Remember — if your brand is going to push through the crowd, it needs to to be in great shape!