Every sales professional and entrepreneur needs a profitable brand, and the key is to build a brand online and leverage it for rapid sales growth.
Corey Blake is the CEO at MWI, an international digital marketing agency. His background is in sales and business development and he has managed great sales teams over the years.
Validate your brand
When it comes to building a brand and then leveraging it for growth, you must begin by validating your brand. You basically want to turn off any sirens that the potential customer has about you as a seller.
We all know that a stigma exists around sellers, and you likely even experience it when someone gets on the phone with you to sell you something, despite the fact that you’re in sales yourself.
The biggest challenge often originates from the fact that we build great brands and we know we have value to offer, but we don’t know how to convince people to pay for it. How you validate your brand is critical in that process.
It’s simply legitimizing your brand, service, or product. You must find a third party or another way to validate it. You could share that your brand has been featured on certain sites or that you’ve been invited to certain events.
When you’re starting out, go to your customer. Offer to give a customer your product or service in exchange for their use of it. Explain that you think it will make his life better and that you’d like to ask for his testimonial.
Now you’ve got validation and social proof to use in your next sales conversation.
Seeing someone use your product provides you, as the seller, a certain amount of confidence as well.
If you prefer, you can create great case studies or build a social media presence that includes amazing content. For MWI, for example, they can validate themselves as great content creators by creating great content.
As a bonus, TSE has used those product giveaways as an opportunity to gain feedback during our initial launches so we can figure out where we need to tweak our training or our products. It also helps us build a case study.
Through all of this, you’ll build your own excitement and you’ll develop even more confidence, which is the key to success. Begin your entrepreneur journey by selling yourself on the value you’re providing to the world.
Once you’ve established confidence in your value, use your marketing to communicate it to your potential customers. It’s not enough to be sold on your own value, but you must find someone else who is sold on your value as well.
Find a publication that will tell its audience how legit you are.
Once you’ve built this validation, you’ll have an amazing ability to sell your product or service with exclusivity. You’ll find yourself in the driver’s seat and gives you leverage in your communication and makes your sale more exclusive.
If you establish exclusivity, you almost won’t have to sell your customers as much. You’ll simply have to educate them and move them along the sales process. Exclusivity is priceless.
No one wants to be perceived as the typical used car salesman. Don’t come across as gimmicky, selfish, or ignorant. Instead, strive for confident, competent, professional, and controlled. There’s a balance to it.
Assume your customer has never heard of your validation and mention it to him. Within the first 20 seconds, provide that validation to establish confidence and control. Find a way to organically share it without being perceived as cocky.
The alarms about whether you’re legit will shut down. Then you can offer the idea that you only work with a certain kind of brand, and that allows you to operate with a lot more control.
Close early, close often
Make sure you’re asking for the business. Develop specific strategies to close deals. Beautiful branding and validation won’t matter if you can’t close. Consistently think strategically about how you’ll move this sale to the place you want it.
Provide the customer with the right information and the right details so that she’ll be ready to close.
Closing amounts to more than the way you speak, the speed of your speech, and the tone of your voice. These things do constantly lead to close, but you have to figure out how to move to the specific points along the process.
Many sellers are fearful of the conversion side so they hold off too long. Or they get anxious and they ask for the sale way too soon. If you follow the process, that’s where you’ll see the difference.
You can have all the right components in place, but without a repeatable sales process, you’ll struggle to support your sales. If your process isn’t organized in a way that leads to close at all times, you won’t succeed.
Determine how to leverage all the components you’ve gathered to move your customers toward a deal. Leverage your value, your validation, your exclusivity, and your communication to ask for the business.
Corey’s goal at the end of the sales process is to structure the process so that the _customer_ asks for the next steps without him having to sell it. That’s when you know you’ve hit the nail on the head.
Organizing your tools
Corey worked with James Carberry at Sweetfish Media to help him set up a process of validation. James already had significant validation because he had a large number of podcasts with great guests and he writes for large publications. They simply had to find a way to organize the validation.
In their case, all the tools were sitting there waiting to be used.
Focus on providing real value. Sell yourself on the value you’re providing to individuals and industry. When you love what you’re doing and you aren’t simply trying to make a buck, people will want to be part of that.
Good businesses are built on products that will make a difference. It doesn’t have to be an altruistic notion like ending world hunger. We would all benefit if we could go to work every day and provide value that you believe in to everyone else.
“Build a Brand Online and Leverage It for Rapid Sales Growth” episode resources
Connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.
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