In your customer’s eyes, the way you present yourself has a direct impact on how they perceive the quality of your product or service. If you do not present a quality image, and conduct yourself in a confident and professional manner, your customers may look to others who sell similar products or services. Confidence in what you provide directly relates to confidence and belief in you.
It stands to reason then that the first “sale” you make is that of selling yourself as someone who is worth dealing with. This being said, how comfortable are you with presenting yourself? When was the last time you took stock on what you have to offer your clients?
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw
A good way to check on how you are being perceived by others is to think of the last time you were approached by a competitor or recruiter with a job offer. If this hasn’t happened in the last several years, your personal brand may need further development. If you run your own business, consider when you last secured a new client because of your firm’s reputation for excellence in service or products. Ideally clients should be so satisfied with the experience of dealing with you and your firm that they are willing to tell others.
In the same manner as you would participate in product or service knowledge training sessions for the product you sell or to become more proficient and skilled in practicing your services, it is beneficial to conduct product knowledge sessions on yourself on a regular basis. Objectively evaluate your skills, knowledge relating to your profession, strengths, areas for improvement and your USP (Unique Selling Proposition).
If a prospective client walked up to you, looked you straight in the eye and asked: “Why should I buy from you?” What would you say? How would you present yourself? Your natural response would probably be to start talking about how wonderful your company is, and what great products and services your firm provides. That’s a typical response because most of us don’t see ourselves as being directly connected to the value of the product or service we sell. We don’t want to get too close or take ownership because if something goes wrong, we would be directly accountable. It is much safer to sell from the sidelines than to get involved.
Unfortunately, many people involved in sales and business development view it as a spectator sport. Being reluctant to take ownership of the day-to-day activities of building relationships, creating customer satisfaction and not just providing customer service, they miss out on the opportunity for great personal and financial reward.
Don’t sit on the sidelines – get out there and get in the game. Be the best you can and make sure you let the market know you are there!