“Old, Proven, and True: Brand Value for Sales”
Great salespeople and professionals in management do not happen overnight. It takes practice, support and a mentor or two to create a career that will bring financial and family rewards. Today’s young professional sales person can find that support and mentoring in some of the world’s largest companies. I know that I often have younger and older clients who call me and want me to help them create an image that reflects experience. We get experience from practice and action in the field, and when you are starting out in a profession, we all need TIME. So with this in mind, I suggest that the inexperienced professional practice some patience and look to align their personal professional brand with the brand of a company that has a proven track record. There are some terrific companies in America that have been providing products and services for 75 to 150 years and they have stellar Brands that reflect the company’s values, training, and commitment to success. When a person can tie their own Personal Professional Brand to a proven brand in their industry of choice, they gain on the imputed talent and values of the company they are serving and in turn create a stronger Personal Brand with their individual clients and customers.
If you have a talent for selling products and services, but need some experience, you can create a ladder to wealth and success by joining with any of the great companies that have a rich history and solid brand that has been around for decades. When you can tie your personal and professional brand to the proven brand in an industry, then your brand gains economic value and clout amongst your clientele.
We have all heard the line, “Fake it till you make it.” This thinking will bury you in today’s Internet information age. People can look up your professional and educational history and expose your lack of expertise in any given field. My business is about helping companies and people create a brand that identifies with their customers as well as their peers and employees. No high dollar suit, amazing smile or incredible fashion will get you further than your actual knowledge or talent; however, a great individual brand will open doors. You can always look professional no matter how long you have been in your chosen profession.
I advise my clients who work for a strong company with a strong history to do all they can to identify their personal professional brand with the Professional Brand of their company. In some companies this is called the uniform, and for people in sales and or professional jobs, this is called your style and fashion. Let me share a few ideas that can help you associate your brand with the valuable brand of a strong company.
1). The business card: The company name and logo should be the lead of the card, your name is secondary. A card that is represented by a well-known and strong brand says that you are a team player, that you have resources behind you and that if you do not know the answer to a question you can get the answer from someone else in the company. Your name should be in different font – this says you’re unique, an individual and not just another worker in the machine. If possible, put a favorite quote on the back of the card. In the business of creating your brand, a one card fits all mentality is not the answer. Learn to make your calling card a reflection of the solid Brand you work for and your unique ability and individualism. People love the big companies; they hate being seen as a customer and not an individual.
2). Your professional tools such as leather portfolios, briefcases, business card holders and pens are tools to associate yourself with the larger stronger brand that you are representing. Include the name of the company you represent. A properly placed logo on the exterior of your professional portfolio brief with your name underneath it will show that you are a part of something bigger than JUST YOU. Give clients quality pens with your name and the company logo or name. These leave behind items are a great reminder for your prospects and clients. Do NOT leave behind cheap writing instruments or marketing items. Your peers may do that, but you want to represent quality and integrity and not be seen as the person with all the gimmicks and cheap reminders. Let people who use your pads, pencils, calendars and other items have something that will last and reflect your strong character and long-term commitment. Remember that today’s customer is looking for someone they can trust – and someone who will be around to take care of them for more than six months. Invest in the sales tools you use and leave behind. Associate your company brand with your name and services!
3). Use unique fashion ideas that can make a statement about you and the company you are representing. For men, this can mean something like cuff links, or a monogram on the sleeve of a shirt. I work with an insurance and financial products salesman that has cuff links made to represent his company. They are beautiful, make a statement and I always notice them. When I see them I think of the strength of the company that he works for, and I feel more secure with his product offering. Ties and pens or pendants can do the same thing. Professional looking jewelry that is appropriate for every occasion can associate the company name, reputation and brand with your brand.
We all grow and mature and our business and professional skills will improve. These are a few of the steps that are a foundation for building your own individual professional brand. Then you can take your fashion and style and utilize it to reflect your unique qualities and attributes. This is what it means to create a Personal or Professional Brand that is unique to just you. Never walk away from the power partner – the company that has an established history of success and value. It is like money in the bank when your individual Personal and Professional Brand can be linked to historic companies and brands that have a track record. Take time to reflect the power of the company you represent and do not hide from being part of a larger brand that has strength in its history.
Success does not happen overnight. A track record and few generations of success can help any professional succeed, especially while you are in the process of creating your own unique brand and history.
MODA Image Consulting is here to help the company and the individual to communicate, develop and utilize their brand in a way that brings them greater success.
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