How do you make yourself matter to your customers? How did selling today become such a “soft” touch? How did things like liking, loving, trusting and focusing on the mission become more important than prospecting, qualifying, looking at features and benefits, and closing, closing, closing?
The reality is that people usually buy from people they like. What is always true is that people do not buy from people they don’t like. So your job is to be likable. To be likable, you need to be authentic, real and willing to risk being yourself.
The No. 1 most important thing you can do is to determine your purpose. I don’t mean making money. It needs to be more than that. What drives you? Why do you get up in the morning? What is your purpose behind what you do? If you don’t know it, get with someone and work on it. My purpose is to challenge and inspire people so that we can discover our full potential. Now that I know my purpose, decisions around opportunities become a lot easier to make.
When you know your purpose and mission, get very clear about your vision of who you are becoming and how you’re going to get there. Then share your mission, your vision and your passion with enthusiasm. Let it become your core identity and live it. Be consistent with yourself and make sure you walk your own talk. Never be phony. It will kill your brand.
Be willing to share your unique personality through your voice. But you need to make your voice heard. If you can write, start a blog and do it consistently. If you can speak, get out there and speak. Record videos or podcasts. Share advice and information. Be generous with content and soon people will be listening, watching, asking, sharing and advocating.
If you are a student of your industry and a student of your clients’ challenges, you create value. But it’s only value if you share it widely and generously. One of my mentors was a PPAI Hall of Fame member—the late, great Glen Holt. Glen never charged me a cent for years of great advice, council and valuable consultations that were a major influence on my career. The biggest gift he gave me was his example, which I try to emulate.
Live out your values and let them show. Only make promises that you know you can keep. Be brave enough to be yourself and share your knowledge. Champion causes outside of your company and yourself, and show your charitable nature. Get real and attract your vision and live out your mission.