In today’s ultra competitive world of sales, it’s no longer good enough to just run with the pack. You have to stand out. You have to differentiate. You must be a Difference Maker! You should be doing everything you can to promote yourself as much as your employer. Do you want people calling asking for you personally or just the “sales department?”
Today, let’s look at some tips for self promotion and what I call the Three S’s of Self Promotion:
-Speaking: Take every opportunity (and even create some if you have to) to speak and become recognized as THE “go to” person in your industry. If the local television station or newspaper wants to talk to someone about what is going on in your industry, shouldn’t they talk to you? Many times all that takes is a phone call—these people are looking for interesting stories with local angles. Again, if there isn’t something there—create it. If you are in the real estate business, how is YOUR market affected by the current economy? If you sell cars, what is new and exciting that could be newsworthy? If you sell women’s clothing, aren’t there some new designs and styles that would make a great topic for the morning or mid-day local TV news? Think. Also, don’t forget Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, etc. They are ALWAYS looking for speakers. How can you represent your industry and bring a message to them?
NOTE: You should ALWAYS check with management before publicly commenting on anything within your industry. Your company and/or manufacturer may have very specific guidelines for what they want conveyed.
-Sponsorship: Yes, advertising. I know many, many people that sell cars that advertise THEMSELVES. THEY sponsor everything from local weather forecasts on the radio to little league teams. The key here is to make sure you are getting the “bang for your buck”. Are you advertising to YOUR desired client base? I have one friend that sponsored the “Racing Report” on a local radio station and sold a lot of cars because of it—it was his perfect target market. Again, ask yourself: “What makes sense for MY business?”
-Service: Have you ever heard, “Give away the razor and sell them the blades?” Gillette and other companies are masters at this. Razors are cheap. Blades aren’t. So, what can you give away? If you are in the car business why not hold a Saturday class on how to change a flat for females? How about working with an interior decorator to go over new ideas for home buyers if you sell real estate? There is SOMETHING you can give away to establish and promote yourself along with your company! Use your mind. Carve out some time and think.
Once you come up with a plan on what you want to do, go to your Sales Manager or the owner of the company. In all the years I’ve promoted this idea I have seen ONE—yes ONE –that refused to share some of the cost of advertising or an event with the salesperson! They’ll either split the advertising or help pay for lunch for the tire changing session or something. But, ask. Most will not only help, but be darned impressed you’ve taken the initiative to be a Difference Maker!
Finally, don’t go into this expecting an immediate return on investment. It takes time and consistency. You must do it over and over and before long when prospective buyers think about your business they think about YOU—which is exactly what you want.