Selling is a tough enough process. Selling your products, services or platforms become more difficult when your company brand and image is tarnished. Have you ever encountered this situation? That’s why developing a selling strategy for yourself is just as important as understanding your employer’s selling strategy.
Your selling strategy can be affected by situations in which your own employer’s image is impacted by trigger events. Hopefully you did your homework about your prospective employer before you accepted that offer of a sales position with their company. OK, so the corporate profile of your employer has a positive brand image. You figure that image should make your getting your foot in the door easy. You already have a selling strategy that you feel will work.
Yet your selling strategy isn’t gaining you traction in the marketplace. What to do?
In spite of a shining global brand image, what happens to your selling strategy when that overall corporate image and brand positioning breaks down at the regional or territory level? That’s the type of information you typically aren’t looking for when conducting your job search. Often, that realization gradually dawns on you after weeks or months of selling efforts.
There you are, assigned a client base. You are selling away, dutifully following the selling strategy outlined by your company. How do you ascertain your company may have a tarnished territory image? Well, in one scenario yours truly encountered, your prospects greet your email, phone or personal contact with “Oh, so you are the latest rep assigned to my account? What ever happened to your predecessor? Your company goes through reps like it’s a revolving door.” Yikes! Talk about a commodity image. Talk about lack of product, service, and quality differentiation!
Here are five selling strategies for overcoming a tarnished local brand image when developing your own selling strategy. These suggestions create a personal brand strategy which underscores your relevance and value to your customer base.
- Constantly monitor your employer’s brand and image. Which trigger events can you leverage for positive sales outcomes? Which trigger events might negatively impact your selling strategy?
- Determine your own, personal, brand strategy. This strategy includes your core capabilities that you bring to your customers table, no matter who you are working for.
- Define your value proposition which supports your personal brand strategy.
- Earn domain area expertise.
- Become a trusted partner and collaborator.
Your selling strategy should incorporate consideration of your own expertise leveraged with your employer’s branding, image, and selling strategy. If you are expecting to push an “Easy Button” and get an automatic commission check, think again. It takes more than going out there and knocking on doors and churning through leads lists. Consider developing your own personal selling strategy.
If you are pursuing a professional career in selling, consider what you bring to your customers’ tables, time and time again. It’s not just a matter of being concerned, conscientious and on-time. There’s a lot of work that goes into meeting your quarterly quota. Incorporate these activities into your selling strategy.
Sales professionals, and your selling strategy, require time, attention, and development. You, and your personal selling strategy and style, may be the only interface that your customers and prospects have with your company. In spite of your company’s tarnished local image, your own personal selling strategy may shine through to your customers.
When your local or regional company image is tarnished, often it is your own personal brand and selling strategy that most heavily impacts your selling success. I recommend you consider delivering your personal selling strategy based on your ethics and integrity, combined with your selling acumen. Those core values often surpass no matter what the economy, your company image, and your clients’ track records, can ever throw at you.
What’s your own selling strategy? How does it incorporate a personal brand strategy?
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, brings entrepreneurial mojo and business- and revenue-producing collaboration and communication tools to small and mid-sized Seller-Doer businesses and startups.Her book, Do YOU Mean Business, is now available in eReader format!