A brand is a reason to choose.
We live in a connected world. The act of deeply examining the people and businesses we buy from is a common occurrence. Sifting through the noise and nonsense isn’t easy and those brands who pilot their customers through the maze, ultimately provide them with a reason to choose them over a competitor.
A brand is a promise. It’s a pledge of satisfaction, quality and sometimes even joy.
A personal brand and social selling go hand in hand. You can’t truly succeed in social selling without knowing the value your personal brand promises.
Are you able to articulate why you’re different? If not, or if your “why” doesn’t truly differentiate you from all the others, then there is work to be done. There are no shortcuts. You can’t jump over the important components and expect long-term results.
Social selling is NOT using tactics to get more people to buy from you.
Just as a house is only as good as its foundation, a personal brand is only as effective as its prescribed strategy. Social selling success is derived from conveying the value of your personal brand on an ongoing basis, while maintaining the care and feeding of valued sales relationships.
15 ways to wreck your personal brand and fail at social selling
Certain negative actions contaminate your personal brand and destroy your opportunity to nurture leads via social networks. I’ve witnessed quite a few blunders myself lately (maybe you have too!) and I’ve read a few posts that have inspired me to address some of the gaffes right here.
1. Anxiousness or Impatience
Go into each conversation with the intention of helping others. No one wants to do business with a pushy, “it’s all about me” kind of person.
2. Lack of Courtesy
Being courteous was once a prevailing behavior in our society. Now it’s an uncommon virtue, especially online. What we say and do (online or offline) informs everyone about us and being nice doesn’t cost a thing.
3. Absence of Authenticity
Nobody likes a faker. Here’s where the work you do to discover your personal brand attributes pays off. Those who know themselves display a realness that can’t be manufactured or faked. Authenticity promotes authority.
4. Lack of Assertiveness
We talk about how pushy or overbearing people are off-putting but lack of assertiveness takes it too far the other way. When you’ve spent time and effort cultivating referrals, asking is the next step. It’s important to have the confidence in your own ability to make good on your promises.
5. No Curiosity
People like to talk about themselves. In the networking-social selling environment, you must resist this urge and become curious. Ask questions that will help you understand people and their needs. Curiosity affords you the opportunity to uncover areas where you can serve better.
6. Talking More Than You Listen
People tend to share a lot about themselves on social media. There’s a lot of value in being a good listener. Sir Richard Branson says, “I’m endlessly surprised by what new and useful information I can gather just by keeping my ears open. If you aren’t listening, you’re missing out.”
7. Not Doing Your Research
A great strategy for social selling is to determine who you’d like to meet and devise a plan on how to meet them. Doing research to 1) figure out who your ideal customers are and 2) what their potential needs might be, is a fantastic way to the achieve social selling results you’re looking for.
8. No Investment in Relationships
“Relationships are like muscle tissue…the more they’re engaged, the stronger and more valuable they become.” -Ted Rubin, Return on Relationship
People often ask me whether networking via social media is a worthy investment. Is having friends, fans and advocates who support you worthy? Relationships are the new currency.
9. Over Promise and Under Deliver
Establishing and maintaining trust in your network is crucial. Take the approach of giving more than you get. That’s how to build customer loyalty.
10. No Regular Interactions on Social Networks
Treat your social network just as well as you would your real life network. Take the time to get to know who you’re connected with. There won’t be a spark with everyone but most will remember the effort you made.
11. Overlooking Connections at Other Levels
More often than not, the most helpful people are not the presidents of companies.
12. Absence of an Editor
Before you hit send on any message or content your publish, consider the reader and your ultimate goals.
- Do any extra words get in the way?
- Is a paragraph trying to do the work that one sentence could accomplish?
- Does it sound social?
13. Discounting the Value of Secondary Contacts
Your next great deal could come from someone you helped achieve their goal. Introducing two contacts for a mutual benefit may not seem like much at the time but you never know what fruit these referrals might bear down the road.
14. Expecting Something in Return
Harvey McKay, author of one of my favorite books, “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty” says the Golden Rule of networking is Don’t Keep Score. Reciprocity is a cornerstone of networking, however, keeping score is not.
No quid pro quo. Don’t shop for gratitude in your phone calls or emails. Do the favor because you like and respect the other person and honestly want to help.
15. Failing to Keep in Touch
With all that’s available on social media, you really don’t have an excuse for not keeping in touch. Publish quality content regularly, engage with groups and deliver value, and just say “Hi, how’re you doing” with individuals and/or customers.
Your personal brand is a reason to choose. Don’t wreck your social selling opportunities by not getting to know people. Leverage your relationships by being the first one to deliver value and you’ll earn their business.