Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Your Personal Brand

From my email archives, this is from Jim Meisenheimer from last summer:

Personal Branding
How To Do It In 5 Easy Steps

Personal branding for professional salespeople should
be a high priority - unfortunately it isn't.

Your personal branding can provide you with an unique
competitive advantage if you take the time to develop

Here are five easy steps you can use to launch your
personal brand.

1. What makes you different - I mean really, what makes
you different from other salespeople? If you don't give
this any thought, don't think you're memorable from your
customer's perspective.

I often ask the question, "what makes you different
from your competition" during my corporate sales training
programs. I always get the same responses: honesty,
reliable, experienced, problem solver, product knowledge,
follow up, trustworthy etc.

While these qualities are admirable they won't
differentiate you from your competition because
everybody believes they possess these qualities.

Just remember this - if you want to be remembered you
have to be memorable!

2. What are you known for? Do you have specialized
training? Do you have an advanced degree? Do you have
23 years of experience within a market subsegment?

For example, I have met salespeople with doctorate
degrees who keep this a secret from their sales prospects
and customers. Why in the world would you do this,
when you could differentiate you from your competition?

Are you unflappable? Do you possess an extraordinary
sense of humor? Do you possess any unique skills - like
you're scratch golfer or maybe a college football referee?
Are you a gourmet cook? Do you breed dogs in your spare

What makes you different, makes you memorable.

3. Let people know what makes you different. You can
communicate your uniqueness in ways you have never
imagined before. I'll give you 2 specific ways you can
do this.

Prepare a special report on a topic that you have some
experience and expertise in. Google makes doing research
a snap. You create a title page, an about you page, the
actual content pages, and you could end your special
report with a short list of resources your sales prospects
and customers would benefit from.

You could also write a book. If you happen to be a timid
soul you could team up with two or three other salespeople.
Imagine how your sales prospects and customers would react
when you give them a book you've written. It automatically
establishes you as an expert. It automatically sets you
apart from your competition.

And here's some very good news for you - you don't even
have to write the book yourself. You can visit
www.elance.com and post a job describing the project and
how much you're willing to spend. You can probably get
a special report, on any subject, for less than $125.
You can probably get a book written for less than $400.

Think about this for a minute. How many salespeople do
you know, who are working in your industry, are giving
their sales prospects and customers special reports and
books they have written? Probably not too many.

You see, personal branding is not about blending in,
it's about standing out. Doing things that no one else
is doing creates a strong personal brand for you.

Your personality, unfortunately, isn't enough to
differentiate you from all the salespeople calling on
your sales prospects and customers.

4. Most professional speakers have signature stories
they tell. These stories are unique to the speaker.
It's their signature. As an entrepreneur or a professional
sales person you can create a signature for yourself.
For example, my e-mail signature includes this:
21 years . . . 522 corporate clients . . . 72.7% repeat

These 47 characters help create my personal brand - you
can easily do the same thing.

What color did Johnny Cash favor? He was the man in black,
wasn't he? What color shirt does Tiger Woods always wear
on Sundays? It's always red isn't it?

You don't have to be famous to consider doing this. In
fact doing this may help you to become better known in
your industry.

You could always wear blue ties. You could always use a
fountain pen to take notes during sales calls and to write
short personal notes. Not too many salespeople are doing
these things.

Another good example of a great signature is Thomas
Jefferson's signature - it really does stand out, doesn't

5. Do something that says you're different. Do something
on the blank side of your business card. Think about what
you can leave behind at the end of the sales call. In
preparing for this article I did a Google search for the
phrase, pencils personalized.

You can order these pencils in a variety of designs and
colors for as low as 7 cents each. You can also imprint
up to four lines of text on each pencil. The pencil
becomes your business card.

Imagine including a sharpened pencil with your sales
proposals with a short note saying, "We already sharpened
our pencil for you."

Finally, don't assume you're automatically different
because of your DNA. You have to work at cultivating
your uniqueness within your industry. Doing these five
things will enable you to become the "Go to person"
within your industry.

I hope you have fun working on your personal branding.

Being boring doesn't get you anywhere.

Being different does!

Jim Meisenheimer | 13506 Blythefield Terrace | Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 | 941-907-0415

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