Milestones for Small Business are weekly answers to questions from small business owners across the world. At the end of a year, we’ll have a created a 52-point roadmap to small business success.
Milestone for Small Business #7
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Hello. Welcome. I’m Tim Miles founder and head custodian for the Imagination Advisory Group with this week’s Milestone for Small Business.
I got this question at a seminar a couple of weeks ago:
“Can you brand yourself as a sales rep?”
Of course you can.
First of all, for the purposes of this discussion let’s make sure we’re on common ground about what the term brand means.
I’m going to stick with what my business partner Roy H. Williams wrote in his book The Wizard of Ads:
A brand is this sum total of all associations – good or bad – a person has about your company.
Now, in your case, you‘re company is Sales Rep Inc., right?
But it’s no different than how you might feel about Starbucks or McDonald’s or BP.
Every one of these brings us strong association just as Michael Jordan or Rosanne Barr or you. Conjure up in the minds of people who know you or know of you.
You need two things to begin building your brand.
You need relevance.
Can you talk to customers and customers to be about what matters to them in a language they understand? Do you have the ability to cut through all the clutter and tatter their accustom to, to really drill down, to how you can help them do what it is they need to do in a way they prefer to have it done.
That’s relevance. That’s impact – talking to someone in a way that really matters to them about what matters to them.
The second thing you need is credibility.
Are you believable? Do you have conviction and confidence in the things you say and do you have that confidence in someplace documentable?
For example, do you have a book that is essentially a $20 business card of the things that you believe? A transaction takes place when you publish.
When you get an ISBN number, a transaction takes place that suddenly even if you’re a nose picking goober and the book is full of trash, if you just have that 290 page … it doesn’t even have to be 290 pages – it can be a ten page little pamphlet that you’ve put together of the things that you believe, suddenly there’s a rich, rewarding, document of credibility.
Can you go out and speak anywhere that’ll have you credibly entertainingly on the subject of your expertise.
That’s how you gain credibility.
Put a whole heaping spoonful of relevance with another whole heaping spoonful of credibility and you have successfully branded yourself as a sales rep.
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