Veronica Romney is solely focused on educating and facilitating individuals in their marketing and branding efforts. Veronica and her team are helping clients to stand out from their competition. They make it their goal to ensure you position yourself correctly so you can jump into the narrative and story that your prospective customer has as opposed to trying to force the customer into yours.
Set your personal brand apart from your competition even when you’re not the best in the business. Many businesses and sales reps are under the assumption that in order to distinguish their personal brand, they have to be the best of the best. The prevailing thought is that the only way to be seen as special is to look bigger and be better than everyone else in the same industry. This mindset can be exhausting for both business owners and sales professionals and can lead to burnout as they fight for consumer attention. Customers are bombarded with attention-seeking ads, streaming services, and other campaigns. Companies and salespeople do a disservice to them by adding additional distractions that just focus on how great they are.
Veronica teaches her clients to focus on something more critical: You don’t have to be your customer’s hero. It’s more important to be their guide in helping them get to where they want to go.
Tony Robbins, for example, is a huge brand. He is a big name and a big individual with a big personality. Everything about Tony Robbins is larger-than-life and at the end of his documentary, Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru, he was asked what he hoped people would better understand about him through the documentary. His answer is critical to his branding and should be a great takeaway for people who work with consumers.
He said that it’s not really about people caring about the person, Tony Robbins. The Tony Robbins brand lets customers know that it’s the means to an end and it’s a company that will get them to where they want to go. Tony is aware that he isn’t the show and he isn’t the product. It’s more about how they are transformed through him and what he teaches. People respond to the things that cause change, keeps them hungry, make them feel fulfilled and feel alive.
His organization does that.
CarMax uses this method of selling cars. You can use this tool to set your personal brand apart from your competition. The industry is overly saturated and the competition is stiff. There’s no point in fighting against the current. Instead, CarMax guides its customers where they want to go. Whether the customer is purchasing a car, trading in or selling a car, CarMax has made it a simple three-step process. They have removed the barriers of haggling and negotiation from the interaction with their salespeople and by doing so, have made it easier for the customer to do business.
This positioning technique relieves salespeople from having to be the product or prove they’re the best. Instead, they can concentrate on being a guide, mentor or coach for their customers to avoid burnout.
People need a guide when purchasing decisions need to be made. For example, someone buying a weight loss program or supplement isn’t just buying a product but the transformation that product offers. As a salesperson responsible for packaging products and services to the consumer, the goal isn’t to make the product the hero of the sales pitch. The goal is to offer transformation by helping customers understand how the product can get them to their destination.
Consumers today are focused on their self-interests. Consumers want their problems solved quickly and as salespeople, guiding them through their ambitions is key.
Develop your voice
It’s tempting to want to be a chameleon who can be everything to everyone but it’s also impossible. Yes, it’s important to mirror the person you are talking to in order to help build a connection but your voice must be unique to you and your brand.
Let’s take Warren Buffet as an example. He is a billionaire, investor, and businessman. Warren Buffet is famous for writing an annual letter to his shareholders to talk about his market forecasts and investments for the upcoming year.
MSNBC and Forbes have turned these letters into books. He has been able to deliver consistently, over decades, to successfully build a personal brand that people can trust and feel confident about.
Warren did this by writing letters to just a single person, Doris. Writing to just one person makes the letters have a unique and intimate tone.
Speaking to one person creates consistency in your voice and people relate to that when you connect with them.
Doris is Warren’s sister. He has an emotional connection to her and that’s the kind of affection and connection that you need to have with the people you choose to connect with. Finding your voice can be difficult, especially if you are new to sales, so find a favorite customer, someone that can really benefit from what you have to offer, and pretend you are speaking to that person every single time, no matter who your customer is. Eventually, you will be able to develop your natural tone consistently.
It’s the same thing in politics. Politicians who are consistent and speak the same way, regardless of audience or circumstance draw people.
There can be a disconnect when businesses have one person writing for their blogs, another person their press release, and yet another working their ads. Each person is going to have a different voice in their writing instead of having a company voice. It’s important that there is consistency in a company voice throughout.
Veronica suggests four critical questions you can use to set your personal brand apart from your competition and help find your voice as a salesperson and help you understand your customers more intimately. They help to develop a relationship when you have an opportunity to survey a new client. The answers to these questions are a great vehicle to learn how to be the best guide you can be:
It’s important to set a time parameter on the things your customer wants to achieve. For example, you can ask about a quarter goal or a yearly goal. Setting a time frame gives you an endgame and will serve as a guide to where the customer hopes to go.
Your goal is to enter their story and not to force them into yours. They have already been thinking about what they need to accomplish their goals but these questions allow you to go into the story they have already created in their own mind. What if their solutions are wrong for them? You have to know what they’re thinking to guide them to the right answer.
Whatever the answer is, your product and services have to offer the solution. You are in the business of taking away the pain and obstacles that prevent your customers from getting to where they want to go. Every client will have different pain points so you can’t make assumptions about what frustrates them about their business or life.
Your customer’s answers will give you insight into what they’re open to trying. Knowing that you’re offering something they’ve never tried before may feel revolutionary to them. You need to understand what people are comfortable doing.
The answers to these questions will allow you to see your client’s aspirations and what they think they need to double their business. Their answers will give you an idea of what frustrates them the most and what their pain points are. The questions tell you the mechanism and the behavior they’re already accustomed to. It’s why these 4 questions are critical in distinguishing yourself from the competition.
Stay focused on your client and maintain the goal of making them the hero of their own story. You’re there to offer the transformation.
Catch up with Veronica via her personal website, veronicaromney.com. She is also on various social media such as Twitter.
This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077.
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Creating an authentic personal brand is important because everything that we develop in business is based on creating a personal brand. As sales reps, polishing your personal brand must be a priority to stand out to everyone no matter where you go or where you are.
Emily Soccorsy and Justin Foster are co-founders of intrinsic branding practice Root + River. They have combined their experience and expertise in branding and passion for personal growth to guide individuals in combining authentic original brands that attract new opportunities and levels of possibilities.
Both Emily and Justin believe that every great brand is a spiritual experience. As coaches, they guide individuals regardless of the roles they play in the organization. Their goal is to make them understand that deep foundational soul of their brand and put that into practical use every day.
Branding is a practice, which means you need to do it every single day whether you are aware of it or not. Intrinsic practice will help you be aware of the things that you do and get organized around them so that those things will have far greater impact for a longer time.
In simple terms, a brand is how other people experience what you believe. The brand is how people experience you in everyday situations and conversations. If you understand what that experience is giving to people, you can tap into that in a more conscious manner to help build your brand in a way that has greater impact.
Frank Rogers is a good example. He is a great salesperson who developed a thought leadership brand. He doesn’t wait for the market to tell him what to say. Instead, he leads from the front.
Chip Scholz from North Carolina is another example. He is an executive coach with a very memorable brand who uses a direct and Socratic approach in his coaching.
Regardless of the audience you are talking to and the role you have, whether you’re a coach or a sales leader, you must follow the same principles because you are responsible for two brands. First, you’re responsible for your personal brand, and second, you’re responsible for the brand that you are representing.
There are three specific qualities in intrinsic branding: inner traits that show up in the outer world.
Don’t be a karaoke singer or cover band. Be an original thinker, an original producer.
Learn how to tell your story eloquently, consistently, and compellingly. Do this without hesitation and insecurities. Share your story from the heart with conviction.
Do not give a packaged version of yourself. It is best to carry the lightest armor you can because when you do, you emanate something.
All three traits help to make a brand a positive contagion.
Anyone in any position has an opportunity to take an inventory of what their true expertise is and what they are better at doing than anybody else. If you are good in sales, ask yourself how it manifests, what it looks like for you, and in what aspect of the selling process you are crushing it.
These are difficult questions to answer because most times, what comes easily to us doesn’t get much value. But if you are able to tune into the things that you are good at and able to share those with people, you’ll have the opportunity to be an original thinker and brand yourself as a thought leader in whatever sliver of space that is.
Make sure that you share the tips that you have and give feedback to people who are open to it. You begin to build your brand by being a thought leader when you differentiate yourself in those conversations.
Many feel apprehensive in speaking and expressing their original self because of two reasons: the fear of becoming an over-promoter and the social emphasis on humility.
There is a fear of overdoing things and the feeling of bombarding people with content they don’t really need. But sharing is a moral obligation if the content is good and you are producing something that is helpful for the community.
The second one is humility.
While humility is a beautiful trait, it is unfortunately a terrible brand strategy because you have to suspend the idea that you’re not special.
From a very early age, we are conditioned to put the emphasis on other people and not on ourselves. People who talk about themselves are looked down upon.
But the truth is you have a voice and you have a message. You have something that transcends the product or service that you are selling, and you have a piece of yourself to offer to the world. You can’t do these things if you choose the road of humility.
As a sales rep, it is your role to share your gifts with the world, and the way people can access your gifts is through your products and services.
Authenticity comes from knowing who you are and what you can do. It stems from acceptance and conviction. When you discover who you are, the next thing you need to master is how to achieve consistency.
Brene Brown is a great example. She built her brand by investigating what she found interesting and curious about the world. She shares what she learns and talks openly about it, and she is authentic and consistent in what she does.
The same is true for Gary V. Many would say he is “too much” but that’s the way he builds his brand. He shows up, answers questions, and talks a lot. But still, he is being paid for it because he is sharing something that he is good at. If you’re going to hold yourself accountable to something, hold yourself accountable to authenticity.
The TSE brand prides itself on being personal to our clients. Even now with thousands of people listening to our podcasts, we make it a goal to be the same people we were before. When people connect with us on LinkedIn, we try to communicate with them and send something personal.
In Justin’s assessment, The Sales Evangelist brand strives to be inspirational before it’s informational. As it turns out, peoples’ brains are full of information, but there’s always room for inspiration. People welcome inspiration because it’s nourishment to the soul.
Listen to your audience. People often talk about the ideal market in terms of sales but we don’t like that language. We favor the ideal audience and what you need to do with an audience is to take in their feedback. Your audience can give you energy and you can respond to that. It will help you hold things a little bit longer and move through things a bit quicker.
Salespeople must be responsive to the audience from an emotional standpoint. You don’t do this by sending out surveys every other day. You do this by asking them questions, listening to them, and incorporating the things they said through your work.
When you have something to say, you need to say it well, which means you need to write and speak with a level of excellence. Building a great authentic brand requires one to both write and speak well because it’s the only way that the audience can access you. You need to find a balance.
You can make a system where you go out, do things, and speak. Learn how to produce interesting and consumable content. Learn how to create an explanation that’s going to incite curiosity and interest to engage people in conversation.
It is important to simplify your message and infuse energy and emotion as much as possible. It’s got to have the unexpected quality as well.
Simple, unexpected, and emotional are the three ingredients in making interesting content that people would be inclined to share it to the world.
This is what articulation is and it comes from practice. It is a type of discipline. The skill of articulating well isn’t a natural ability; it’s a product of frequent practicing.
You have to push back against several thousand years of biological and social programming to become a great brand. Branding is far more about conviction. It comes from having an open front and strong back, according to Brene Brown. It is important to show your audience a little bit of the behind-the-scenes. Vulnerability means sharing your true self to the world. It is about being honest and telling people how you are doing or what you are doing.
Many find this challenging, however, and the line between what’s private and what’s public is difficult to cross.
Being vulnerable means sharing parts of the journey: the little lessons and failures along the way and opening yourself up to feedback. Contrary to what many think, vulnerability isn’t about confessing everything. It’s about showing your client that you are human and that you are relatable.
Michael Jordan failed so often that he was cut from his team, but he was able to push through, and that made him more human. It made him relatable and people have hope because of his story. They believe that they can do it, too.
Show the mess a little bit without being too self-deprecating. Vulnerability means a lot of different things but for us; it’s a behavior and an action.
Set aside time to dive into who you are as a brand. Ask some thought-provoking questions and do the deep work with the intention of translating that into your action. Remember that you are your first client. It is important to practice self-care and to take care of the energy centers of physical health, mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health.
Be better so that everyone around you benefits. The world needs the best version of you, not a worn-out version of you. There is no better brand than vibrancy, and vibrancy comes from nourishment.
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Lindsay is a brand strategist who helps professionals identify the single idea that their business stands for. She’s passionate about working with leaders to harness the power of brand every day.
Brand is what you stand for in the mind of your audience. If your audience is a group of customers, it’s the thing you mean to your customers. If it’s future employers, it’s what you mean to them. It’s a crystallized meaning of what you uniquely bring to your audience.
When you spray a bunch of ideas out, it’s harder for your audience to understand. It’s in our interest for our audience to be able to understand because they’ll be more like to remember us, like us, and talk about us.
It’s up to us to make it easy by distilling it for them.
We want to empathize and understand what it’s like to be our customer. You and your company are not the center of the universe for that customer. They have many other things going on besides your value proposition.
When you crystallize it into something specific, it uses their worldview rather than their worldview. It makes it easier for them to buy what you’re selling.
Sometimes as businesses, we forget that we’re not selling to a machine or an inanimate object. We’re selling to humans with joys, sorrows, scarcities, worries, and pride. When they feel seen they are more likely to bond with you and want to do business with you.
One of Lindsay’s motives for writing her book was people’s widely varying definitions of brand. For some people, it’s the name of the business. For others, it’s the logo. Others assume it’s related to marketing budget or television advertising.
She concluded that the concept was becoming problematic, and she wanted to demystify it.
There’s some merit to all of those ideas, but she needed to bust the myths about what brand isn’t. Otherwise, we’ll keep having puzzling conversations where people aren’t speaking the same language.
Not all brand is created equally. You have a brand whether you deliberately created it or allowed it to be passively created.
If you aren’t actively choosing the meaning, you won’t have the brand position you want to have.
When you think of sharp objects as they relate to your vision, those things are easier to see. Your eyes have to do less work.
Ease is good because when you ask less of your audience they are more likely to learn and remember. An example of this is the fact that people around the world associate the Volvo brand with safety. Same thing with Prius, because people think of fuel-efficient cars.
Buick doesn’t have this sharp edge in its branding. If you’re the CEO of Buick, how do you feel when your audience doesn’t know what your brand means? Who even is the audience?
The Buick salespeople have to do much more work than the Volvo or Prius salespeople.
We assume that if we can keep the door open without narrowing our message to a target customer that we’ll appeal to everyone. The reality is that it’s an illusion of an opportunity.
The more an entity puts a stake in the ground, the more authentic they are perceived to be. Customers won’t trust companies who won’t take a stand on anything.
People respect you more when you demonstrate what you’re optimizing for.
The other thing is that developing a specific message might turn away the people you shouldn’t be serving anyway, but that’s ok because it’s time and money you could devote to the people who are your target customers.
Remove the mystique of branding. You don’t have to have a good handle on branding in order to intentionally craft your own brand.
Choose with crystal clarity who your target customer is, but don’t just rely on demographic observations. What are they like? What keeps them up at night? What do they value in life?
This doesn’t mean you don’t sell to other people. It just means that you optimize with humility on your way to forging an ironclad brand.
Grab a copy of Lindsay’s book Forging An Ironclad Brand. She also has a free giveaway on www.ironcladbrandstrategy.com. You can grab the workbook that Lindsay adapted from her book. It’s a supplement that provides a step-by-step workbook-style guide to building your own brand strategy.
If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.
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As a seller or an entrepreneur, having your own brand identity is paramount to your success. Today’s guest, Gregory Diehl, is the author of the book Brand Identity Breakthrough which is a great read about understanding who you are, why you’re doing what you’re doing, and how to get people to care about it in a more meaningful way.
At age 18, Gregory started traveling the world where he had to learn about salesmanship so he can fend for himself. His vast experience along with his passion for education is what led him to create his own written masterpiece in the hope of helping other people discover their own brand identity so they too can empower themselves to not only become successful but also to be different from what everybody else is doing.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Gregory:
Greg’s coolest sales experience when he was the customer
The concepts behind writing a book about branding:
Strategies for creating a powerful brand identity:
People think in terms of narratives. Know how to present your product in the form of a narrative where you speak to the other person as a very specific type of character in that narrative of a very specific type of journey.
Why many entrepreneurs fail to see their own vision:
Relate it to the fundamental human emotions that drive someone to make a purchasing decision with you. Identify what the fundamental needs are and why does somebody care enough to spend money on this.
Come up with avatars of customers who all share enough similarities in where they’re coming from and what they need so you can come up with a message, story, or identity that speaks enough to their specific situation.
Know how the product knowledge specifically fits into the vision of the specific customer which is the intersecting point between what your customer wants and what you have.
Gregory’s Major Takeaway:
Don’t be afraid to go deep. Inquire, philosophize, understand your customer more – where they’re coming from, what they want, what they do, and how best to present it. Why are you in the business you’re in? Focus yourself on where your assets are put to best use.
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How To Develop Your Own Personal Brand
Honestly ask yourself – Why are you doing what you’re doing? Why are you in sales?
Regardless of why you’re doing it, you gotta know WHY you’re doing it. If you’re doing it just for the money, you might want to re-evaluate yourself because you may be doing it for the wrong reason.
Our guest today, Patty Elizee, shares with us the power of knowing your why… that leads to your purpose… which eventually leads to your fulfillment. These, my friends, make up the essence of developing your own personal brand.
Patty E. (to add a lil swag to it) is the host of the podcast Brand YOU Economy Podcast, where she seeks to Entertain, Educate, and Empower people to leverage their lives. Coming from a background in aviation electronics, Patty eventually ventured into the corporate direct sales industry learning a lot about branding, sales, marketing, and different channels. Today, she helps people find their own why and grow their tribe through the power of effective branding.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Patty:
Top Keys to Creating Your Own Personal Brand:
You can’t sell to other people if you’re not even confident in your own product.
Why are you doing it? If you’re selling just for the money, you may just be selling for the wrong reason. Find your why. Find your purpose for you to live on that purpose. Why leads to purpose. Purpose leads to fulfillment.
Your people should not only believe in your product but also in your mission. People tend to gravitate more towards the mission, the belief, the drive, or the dream than the product itself.
Patty says one of the biggest mistakes in personal branding is people’s tendency to imitate others. Don’t be a carbon copy. Be your own person. Follow your own individuality. Take no shortcuts.
You can say you’re this and that but it makes no sense if no one’s getting it or understanding your message. Your message and other people’s testimonials go hand in hand. They’re the yin and yang to personal branding. Getting testimonials from your community means they resonate with your message.
How to Establish Your Brand Online:
Patty recommends Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. You need to understand the fundamentals and foundation of where your audience is.
When you’re in LinkedIn, know how to speak the LinkedIn language and so with Facebook and other social media platforms.
Gravitate to where most of your target audience are. Again, know your audience, where they’re hanging out, and how they speak. Then focus on that area to not waste your energy.
Patty’s Major Takeaway:
Just be comfortable with who you are. Be confident and believe in yourself. Then people will see that light within you and they would radiate in your light. Like a diamond, just shine!
Get in touch with Patty through visiting her website www.pattyelizee.com
Check out Patty’s podcast: http://www.brandyoueconomy.com/podcast/