Everyone wants to do business with people they know, like and trust. But trust building in today’s online world can get a bit tricky. Social media gives customers a bigger say in how salespeople are viewed by the rest of the world. Savvy salespeople recognize that to manage online reputation right, you must always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.
Today’s sales professionals must think of building an online and offline reputation in the same way a company would think about creating a brand. When a prospect is considering a purchase, the reputation of a salesperson for delivering value and the social proof of that is crucial.
No More Secrets
Prospect’s investigations can often resemble an episode of CSI. With the huge amount of information available now, buyers can learn everything they need to know about a salesperson’s reputation.
The reputation of a salesperson is often a key ingredient in winning or losing a deal. The good news is that your online and offline reputation is something you can and should proactively manage.
It’s Tricky This “Manage Online Reputation Thing”
File this under, “You just never know where your online reputation may precede you.”
I’ve lately noticed that social media sites are asking users to help better define the places, products and services they interact with. Even in the private messages to a large Facebook page I manage, I’m asked to verify things like, “Is this response a thank you?” It’s a little creepy but I’m going with it.
This one appeared in my feed the other day and I had to check it twice:
I’m pretty sure that isn’t what Applebee’s wants to be known for.
It remains to be seen if companies will keep up with all the ways information is disseminated throughout social media. I have high hopes, even with lots of evidence to the contrary.
How to Manage Online Reputation Right
Salespeople have a distinct advantage over companies when managing online reputation: They’re only one person who has to manage that one brand. No committee, no board meetings, nothing lost in translation. One consistent message, backed up by an awesome customer experience, can develop trust quickly and generate more business.
A Simple Tactic to Harvest What You Planted
Mike Davenport is one of the most talented sales professionals I’ve ever met. He genuinely loves his customers and uses social media to express it. He works hard to build and reinforce his brand everyday. He plants seeds to harvest later.
Mike has his own website and it’s got everything a prospect needs to make the right decision.
More about Mike:
- He moved to Louisville, Kentucky without knowing anyone.
- He makes it his business to investigate and understand exactly who his customers are and what they’re looking for.
- His Facebook bio reads, “Chevy salesman, customer service nut and love to change the perception of car buying.”
- He’s got so many happy customer testimonials, it makes it easy for would-be buyers to choose him.
- He’s on Twitter sharing content his customers want to know about.
- He’s authentic. He’s exactly the same in person as he is online (a key component in Personal Brand marketing).
And now, the simple tactic Mike does that every salesperson on earth should do.
Mike promotes his reviews on social media. He does it with such authenticity, clarity and conviction that it’s difficult to imagine a would-be buyer going anywhere else:
Breakdown of the Winning Components in This Simple Tactic
- He speaks in his “real” voice. You know it’s him as you read it.
- He tags his customer and refers to her as a friend.
- He reminds other customers to write reviews.
- He explains exactly how to do it for maximum impact on search engines (“mention my name and “Chevy Dude”).
- The review from Pam C. is so much more than a standard review. It’s clear she’s ecstatic about her experience.
Now, I realize that each salesperson is on his or her own path. There are many obstacles to success and it takes considerable focus to hit your goals. Long-lasting success requires clear intentions. The thoughts you think about everyday matter. What you think about becomes reality, so choose wisely.
Your Turn to Take Action…
Take Mike’s example of stellar customer service and become a “customer service nut.” Create your own destiny. Let your happy customers speak for you. Generate more business by promoting your reviews on social media.