- Who & Why?
Category Archive for: ‘Sales’
For many people, the holidays are a stressful time in business and in their personal lives. It seems that no amount of “good cheer” and commercialized joy can make it better. The result is always a mis-aligned and ineffective personal brand.
If you look around, the products industry has figured out how to sell us “joy”- which is the only emotion that matters in order to get people to be attracted, and buy, from a business. For instance, Starbuck’s 2013 Holiday campaign is….Share Joy! Norwegian Cruise Lines has a Holiday Joy campaign, too. And of course, QVC invites us all to give joy this holiday season.
Do you get the picture? While you don’t have to go out spending lots of money to find your joy (you decide if that concept even really works for you), you can decide where to spend your money. Where you spend your money is an easy way to have your money count in ways that bring you profound joy. For instance, do you support fair trade or an organization that does great things for the community with your donation? For me this year, I have chosen to make all my holiday purchases at stores or charities that are either fair trade or directly support a cause or a group with which I am proud to be associated. Consider your money can serve as your voice and be used as a beautiful means to express your desire to see positive change/events happen in the world and your community.
Where exactly is your joy campaign as a service provider or professional? Most importantly, can you take that joy and have it last for eleven more months, or is it just relegated to December? While December is a good start, let’s see if you can make your joy, and thus your personal brand value, last longer!
Inherent to the personal branding process is the ability to be able to know your uniqueness, own it and let others know it. Of course, if this was easy to do everyone would be an expert at personal brand management, have more business and be happier in general.
Yet, as I always say, we find that people have a hard time being outstanding and shining brightly AND letting others know it. Inherently, the problem is low self-confidence. Therefore, we become “closet professionals” as I like to call it. We go around hoping someone will somehow notice how great we are, like us and then hire us.
Last week I had the pleasure of hearing a speech by Edith Ramirez, the Chairwoman of the FTC. She spoke at a local female lawyers luncheon. Ramirez is a bright and capable lawyer, having been on law review at Harvard with President Obama.
At the heart of her talk was the concept that women and minorities are not good at marketing themselves, or tooting their own horns. She highlighted how an essential part of being a good attorney is having self-confidence, something we directly measure for our personal branding clientele. If you are not self-confident about what you do, clients will feel it.
Ramirez stated that it is ok to say, “I’m good. Hire me!”
So how good are you at saying, “I’m good. Hire me”? Do you have self-confidence and passion around your profession, be it a lawyer or otherwise? If not, why not?
Here at Puris Image, we work with businesses and their employees on developing their personal brands and conveying that into a successful personal brand. However, it seems we are often working on interviewing skills for our clientele, too. So whether you are interviewing for a job or a new client/business, the tips are all the same.
In fact, I’ve discovered a pattern that happens with people who are interviewing- whether they be attorneys, CEOs, entry-level people, etc. The list is so long that I’ll address one issue each time.
So here’s the main thing NOT to do during an interview: DO NOT be or act desperate.
The tone of your entire interview is set by your mentality. Too often people go into interviews (or meetings with prospects for new business) with a mentality of being desperate because they need the job or need the business. This is a perfect way to set yourself up for failure. People can sense desperation and do not like it.
You must create a win-win situation. So remember, you are not desperate. The best way to not be desperate is to:
A) Think to yourself, Do I want to work here? If it is a prospect, think to yourself whether you really like them as a potential client.
B) Create JOY as the emotional underpinning for why they should hire you or engage your firm. As with all things related to branding, if you I cannot see you as bringing joy to our office and our clientele, then I cannot hire you or give you the business. I can teach anyone most anything, but I cannot teach joyful attitude and integrity.
C) Show your flexibility and adaptability as an employee or vendor. Make sure your responses and questions all come across from a place of being open to new concepts and people, but NOT overly ingratiating. For example, “I’d be open to working different hours” and NOT “I can work any hours you need for any pay.” OR if you are a business prospecting, “We are happy to create a service package that is customized to your business needs” and NOT “We’ll do whatever you want at any price”.
Look for the next tip at a later date.
EMAIL US YOUR WORST EXPERIENCE WITH DESPERATION IN GETTING BUSINESS
I just spent a weekend working with a group of lawyers at an American Bar Association (ABA) conference. The one subject most every lawyer needed help with was “sales”. Specifically, most attorneys were very unsure of when and how to ask for the sale when talking to a prospect. The result is a poor personal brand.
I find it really interesting that most professionals have the same view of “sales”. That is, their perception is that they are professionally trained in a substantive area (ie, law, dentistry, medicine, engineering, accounting, etc.) and thus, they should not have to deal with/worry about selling their services. What I found equally interesting was that these same professionals feel that everyone is trying to sell to them and they don’t like it.
Here’s my take: If you are good at what you do, ie, being a lawyer, then why are you not trying to help me see your point of view so that I can benefit from your excellent service? Would you rather that I go elsewhere, get lesser service and possibly pay more?! Sadly, we find most professionals don’t take the time to sell their services well and they lose out on the prospective client and the client loses out on your superior service. The result- everyone loses out all because professionals don’t want to sell.
Because their view of sales is so skewed, these same professionals feel that everyone is trying to sell to them. As a result, they run from people and feel uncomfortable when approached. Often, they miss out on quality products and services that could make their business better- all because they assume everyone is trying to sell them something shady.
This feeling of being threatened by the “ask”, is because many professionals are not comfortable with being confronted with a situation. The word, “confront” has gotten a bad wrap in our society. Confront does not have to mean there is hostility or aggressiveness. In my book, “confront” just means being able to stand next to someone, look them in the eye and hold your boundary and have a communication with them. That’s not such a bad thing, right? If professionals begin to look at “confront” as such, then the entire sales concept can have a new meaning.
So next time you feel like you can’t “make the ask” and sell your services OR you feel like you are being sold to, stop and think about the reality of the situation- are you and your services worth you confronting and informing your prospect of how much you can help them?
Women entreprenuers are sprouting up everywhere today and that’s a great thing! With the growth of multi-level marketing (MLM) companies such as NuSkin, Melaleuca, Silpada, SendOutCards, etc, it is getting easier for women (and men) to run a business out of their homes, on the side of anything else they are doing or in any other way they wish.
The problem for me happens when I see people having their hands in two or more of these businesses- and actively selling them all at the same time to the same people. Two things could start to happen if you are one of these people:
* Your personal brand message can get garbled: Are you selling skin-care, jewelry, clothing or hand-bags? If you are selling them all, do they somehow tie into your personal brand and represent who you are, your unique selling proposition and business goals? Do you have some passion around the combination of MLM lines you represent or did someone just do a really good job recruiting you and convincing you that their MLM was the best?
I need you to step back before you sign up for a lot of good money-making MLM businesses and evaluate if YOU:
a) believe in the product so you can sell it with passion and purpose,
b) can find a tie-in with the product and who you are/your personal brand,
c) have enough connections to have the reach to the MLM’s target market. In other words, do your circle of friends represent the accurate target market for the MLM you want to start selling?
* Your actual verbal message can get garbled: I recently saw someone who was has a business organizing things/people speak at an event. However, I really did not hear her speak to organization. Rather, what I heard (and maybe misunderstood, but that’s the problem) was her talk about her lotion/body care line she represents and her bag line she represents. Both body care and bags appeared to be MLM and neither really carried her message of why she has an organization business and what she could do for me to organize my life, closet, office, bills, etc.
Even if you don’t sell MLM, but are in professional services (doctors, lawyers, etc), you need to stop and consider the same two questions above. I see plenty of doctors and lawyers who are selling products and services that are not connected to their actual service and brand. I appreciate the economy has prompted even professionals to have to get creative with their multiple income channels, but at what cost?
For example, I know a lawyer who sells candles for “fun”. Are you planning on creating a romantic atmosphere in court for your clients? If you must sell candles, disconnect the concept from your legal practice and sell the candles on the weekend to moms in your neighborhood.
I also know of many dentists who sell/administer Botox out of their office. To them I ask: “Aren’t you diluting your specialty as a dentist by telling me I can come in and get Botox from you, too?”
I’ve also seen plenty of dermatologists really go off-base by offering tons of make-up lines and creams and gels, etc. Too much product sales in my opinion. I can go to Sephora and get the same stuff. And no, just because you are a dermatologist doesn’t mean the products are more credible to me -because all the products are overwhelming and so are you.
So if you are selling, or considering selling, one or more MLM product lines or adding a product or service to your professional degree’d offerings, please consider the two potential problems above. While having multiple income streams is smart, which ones really serve you well and complement your current profession and personal brand best?