You do not need to be told about the injustices that exist in business today. In today’s business world, sales success is no longer about who has the best product, service or even price. It is not even about who has the superior selling skills. It is all about who creates the most buzz and publicity. We live in a society that is consumed and obsessed with celebrities. Shows like “Dancing With the Starts” and “Celebrity Apprentice” draw rave reviews and high viewership. The public can’t seem to get enough of the stars. Perhaps this is because most people lead such boring lives and they flock to these shows to avoid dealing with their own hum drum lives.
To be a sales leader, one whose client base continues to expand even during down times and who boasts at least a mid-six-figure income, you must create your own celebrity identity in your marketplace. You must turn yourself into a saleable, valued asset instead of just another product peddler. You must create a new product and that product is YOU!
For an example, look at the multibillion dollar athletic shoe industry where Nike is the 800 pound gorilla. Hard on its heels are Reebok, Adidas, Fila, and others. What’s the difference between them, other than logos and advertising? Virtually nothing. So why does Nike own the world of shoes?
People buy Nikes because it makes them feel emotionally superior. They don’t buy based on logic or quality because, truthfully, the average American doesn’t know beans about how to tell a good shoe from a lousy shoe.
This same lack of product knowledge exists in most buying decisions whether it is product or service. Smart marketers know this and spend their time building personal identity around something which instantly creates a reaction in their audience.
MAKE A NAME FOR YOURSELF
Years ago Charles Schwab was just a broker on Wall Street. Then one day, he decided to turn his name into a brand. Schwab turned on the marketing machine and began saturating the media with his name, face, and company identity. Years later, Schwab is perhaps the best-known name in finance to millions of Americans.
You can do the same for your services and business. All you need to do is follow these fundamental principles when building your brand:
Differentiate yourself. Start by doing something or offering something that makes you different from your competitors. Pick something or invent something that sets you apart from others and begin to promote that differentiation.
Develop a Niche Position. Your position is the place you occupy in the minds of your prospects and buyers. Become a specialist or pick a very narrow specialty market for yourself.
Market, Market, Market Your Uniqueness. Once you’ve determined your position and your differentiator, create your brand by advertising yourself — over and over. Use print ads, direct mail, radio, websites, speaking engagements, newspaper articles — and any medium available to communicate your name, your slogan, and your message to the target audience.
Customize your services. Once you’ve built your brand, begin changing and evolving your services and business to fit your identity. If you preach personalized services, you need to qualify your identity by promising to offer a specified amount of one-on-one time with your clients. If you talk about your large, helpful staff, hire one. If you promise a unique specialty, back it up by offering a focused blend of products and services based on that specialty.
Market Your Name. Build your brand by using your name. You want to build a business with enduring value around your persona, and your name captures that idea better than anything else. Remember, your clients do not make decisions based on what is rational — it is the emotional connection they will have with you personally that will impact their decisions.
Publish If at all possible, write articles, write a book, and create a blog.
Speak Develop a short speech that you can give at business and service clubs that establish you as the resident expert in your industry. Nothing beats speaking for increasing credibility.
While implementing any one of these will help, implementing them all simultaneously will skyrocket your sales and income.