"First impressions never have a second chance."
Charles R. Swindoll
How does a sales professional gain momentum, succeed within their marketplace and future proof their career inside a rapidly changing business world?
If you want to succeed in this digitally driven, highly networked and socially empowered business world, it will take a new mindset and skill set.
There's a mental tug-of-war happening. Monumental changes combined with rapid shifts in how we use technology have altered the thought process of many within the sales world.
Regardless of how long you've been in sales or plan on being in sales, you must quickly assess the best ways to sell your services and market yourself in this technology-driven world.
“The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don't really even notice it, so it's part of everyday life.”
Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft
Giving the chaotic, challenging and cumbersome course of recent events, let's all pause for a moment and reflect upon the following:
How do you expect to get noticed in your marketplace when nobody knows you exist?
Digital communication, social platforms, and COVID 19 have forever changed the sales profession. The days of wining and dining your clients, leaving them with fancy brochures, pens and logo-covered notepads is over.
The way it was, is not the way it will be
Stop and I mean stop saying, "I am so looking forward to getting back to normal." or "I wonder what the new-normal will look like."
Merriam-Webster defines normal as,
"conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern: characterized by that which is considered usual, typical, or routine."
Have your usual, typical or routine sales practices been exposed? Why would any of you go back to a so-called normal sales life of patterned complacency?
What mental digital fences are hindering your sales success?
Buying habits and how information is consumed, has forever been altered.
Whether it be Google, LinkedIn or your favorite newsfeeds, we have an unlimited access to just about any topic. Within seconds, we have access and answers to a vast majority of our questions.
The sales world has been rocked! It's like they have been hit with a dose of "Bohemian Rhapsody" - thunder bolts and lightening, very very frightening (I'm a huge Queen fan).
A few years ago, CSO Insights published an article... Are Salespeople Relevant to the Modern Buyer? Here is one key quote to latch onto,"Buyers turn to the resources they consider to be more relevant and more valuable to them."
There is no better time than the present for sales professionals to rebuild, reinvent and get reacquainted with themselves within this digitally driven business world.
Let's set the stage...
"How you present yourself, is how people first view you. What are you showcasing?"
Can you come to grips that the first impressions many have of you may start digitally?
First impressions are difficult to change. First impressions matter but substance has the final word. Why I preach, "No Empty Suits".
First impressions become twice as important online. It's much easier for someone to mouse click and surf online without hearing what you have to say, then it is to walk away from you.
Credibility starts with the look but needs to be backed with your knowledge.
Business looks get one so far. If you don’t know what you are talking about, you are dead in the business water.
To achieve an even greater level of success, sales professionals MUST pay attention to their online presence. You MUST build upon your online reputation just as hard as you build your offline reputation.
Stop the excuses! Take pride in yourself and your career.
You can either future proof your career yourself or have your career adjusted for you.
With or without knowing, anyone can open up your digital business door (your LinkedIn profile) to find out what you do, why you do it, who you are and how you do it. Social platforms provide your clients and your marketplace an idea of what’s on your mind and how your network is responding.
Believe it or not, these snapshot images are helping potential clients decide whether to contact you, take your call or run away from you.
A true sales professional shares phenomenal stories. This all starts with being able to clearly articulate value. However, this is where the roadblock begins.
Unfortunately, many in sales struggle to clearly articulate the value they bring to their clients and out into the business world. With digital first impressions becoming a big deal, how you position yourself by clearly articulating the value you bring is mission critical to your success.
Being able to articulate your value with clarity, conviction and conciseness is the digital door opener. This is the pathway and chapter one in opening up your story in a digital business world.
“Your customers are the judge, jury, and executioner of your value proposition. They will be merciless if you don’t find fit!”
You must be able to convey a clear and compelling message online. In sales terms: what’s the most influential story you could tell to get people to buy into YOU?
If people struggle to make it past the first chapter of the digital you, is it fair to say they may close the digital book?
Social proof is mission critical to your success. Can we all agree that your clients and marketplace are more informed than ever before? Powered by Google just about anyone can gather an immense amount of information about you before ever speaking with you.
"When you utilize social proof successfully, you convey to potential customers that buying your product or service is the safe thing to do. Doing this is central to the success of the sale because people are risk-averse."
Social proof starts with having your clients edify your work. Think of TripAdvisor and how this sways your decisions, now think of how you can use social proof to open up business conversations.
Is your digital storefront open or closed for business?
Self-proclaimed pundits have repeatedly declared millions of salespeople will soon be rendered obsolete by the emerging technologies of our day. In some instances, and in some markets this may be true. However, sales professionals will survive.
In today's fast paced, highly networked digital business world; a sales professional guides their clients within their decision making and buying process. They educate, consult, seek solutions, provide outstanding post-sale experiences and nurtures the relationship in its entirety.
Agility, change, adapt, adjust and thrive - sales professionals will survive in a digitally driven business world.
Sales professionals do the things that most sales reps find the excuses not to do.
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