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Do you know what role a brand plays in your business?  If you’re working for Apple Computer, Dell, GE, Lexus, Mont Blanc, Rolex etc. you’ll appreciate the value of a powerful brand. A brand is a powerful thing to have.  Salespeople can be branded too. You should know that, in order to proactively create your personal billboard. Let’s say your brand is called “YOU.”  What’s your message? What do people think about when they think about you?  You can skip the dependable, reliable, and knowledgeable stuff.  I’ve never met a salesperson who didn’t honestly believe he/she was all that stuff. When your prospects/customers think about your personal billboard, your personal brand, your (USP) Unique Selling Proposition – what specifically do they think about?  If you want your prospects/customers to think about it – you have to invest time thinking about it first. If you don’t think about it – neither will they.  Then you’re doomed to mediocrity and end up forcing your prospects/customers to see pricing as the ultimate differentiator. Here’s a thought-provoking question for you to consider. What’s the compelling reason for your prospects/customers to do business with you instead of all of your competition? Chances are, when you can answer that question, you’re on your way to building a recognisable brand in the niche markets you serve. Branding isn’t done in this case to a side of beef, it’s done into the minds of your prospect/customers.  There are several crucial elements to creating and building your personal brand. They include:
  1. Who are you?
  1. What do you do?
  1. What (specifically) makes you different?
Before you can deliver the performance, you have to cultivate the perception.  Being good or even great isn’t good enough, especially if nobody knows who you are or what makes you so special. The reason most salespeople struggle when asked the three questions above is usually a matter of benign neglect.  They rely on shimmering personalities, communication skills, their appearance, and a host of other minor-league mindsets.  Your key to marginal success versus magnetic success may depend how good your answers are to these questions. Once you feel confident in your ability to answer these questions, ask your seven best customers to answer the same questions.  You’ll have a rock-solid personal-brand if their answers match yours. Your personal brand says a lot about you. Not having a personal brand may say more about you. Success in selling is no accident.  The most successful salespeople usually have the most cultivated and visible billboards. by Jim Meisenheimer