Personal Branding’s Attitudinal Framework

By Jeff Beals

Mastering the art of personal branding, or what I like to call “Self Marketing Power,” requires a certain attitude.

You can’t market yourself if you have nothing to market. That means you must work hard at all times. Marketing without solid performance behind it is but a lie. As you promote yourself, you must constantly work hard. The harder you work and the more you produce, the more confident you will feel, and therefore your self marketing efforts will come across better. This creates a snowball effect, because the better your self marketing is, the more opportunities you will have to be productive.

A self marketer with a good work ethic will search for opportunities everywhere. Be curious. Sometimes the best opportunities come from the places you least expect. Constantly be on the lookout for opportunities to promote yourself. Pounce when the opportunities show up.

To be effective in self promotion you must think big and take risks. Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone. Perhaps you are somewhat shy or are new to your business and thus intimidated by industry veterans. Don’t waste time on fear and worry. It leads to dis- appointment and inaction.

For many people, their first forays into self marketing are small. That’s a fine way to gain experience and build self confidence. Grassroots self marketing can start very humbly. The key is to keep building up your efforts. You will never gain the highest levels of name recognition and respect if you don’t do something big at some point. Once you break through the big risk “barrier,” all subsequent activities will not seem like such a big deal.

There is an old saying that life comes down to just a few big moments. Don’t let timidity prevent you from seizing big opportunities in your life.

Self marketing is a positive-sum game, not a zero-sum game. Everyone can win. Just because one person becomes a rock star in an industry or community doesn’t mean that someone else cannot. Some people, even some successful ones, have a difficult time understanding this.

No doubt you have come across someone who can’t stand hearing praise about someone else. You say something nice about someone else, and that person feels compelled to refute it, bring up a negative thing about the person or at least minimize it with a quick barb or roll of the eyes.

Anyone who behaves like this is telling the rest of the world that he or she has a low self esteem or a compromised sense of self worth. One of the most important rules of the self marketing game is to never tear down others while promoting yourself. In fact, we should take this rule so seriously that we should go out of our way to build others up as we promote ourselves. Nothing looks so bad as to come across as jealous, envious or spiteful.

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at info@jeffbeals.com or call us at (402) 637-9300.

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When You Cut Through the Clutter, THIS Is the Purpose of a Sales Presentation

By Jeff Beals

A sales presentation is your pitch.

More specifically, the presentation is your formal chance to present how your company’s attributes are beneficial to the prospect. It’s a chance to show how you provide value and how you can solve a prospect’s unique problems.

Sales presentations tend to occur after earlier preparatory sales work has been completed.

Before meeting in person, the prospect has probably been exposed to the company’s brand through the mass media. The company has no doubt sent marketing materials via mail or electronic means and communicated over the telephone. Ideally, much of the detective work would have been completed before the formal pitch.

During pre-meeting phone conversations, the salesperson should have asked the prospects numerous questions to find their pain points and determine what they truly value. The presentation is another step in your quest to move a prospect up the relationship depth chart, which starts with rapport, leads to a relationship, builds trust and ultimately gets a deal done.

Although the presentation is your chance to highlight yourself and your company, there is still plenty of opportunity to listen. That’s important, because you can never know enough about a prospect and listening strengthens relationships.

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at info@jeffbeals.com or call us at (402) 637-9300.

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More than a Head Start, Relationships Give You an Unfair Advantage!

By Jeff Beals

A construction executive once explained how the job-bidding process had changed in his industry over the past 10 years. Back in the “olden days,” a company would announce plans to build a building before hiring a general contractor. The construction company would then make contact with the owner and try to win the business.

That is no longer the case.

Nowadays, as soon we hear the first wisp of a rumor about a new building project, chances are the entire construction team is already in place. The successful construction company is the one that builds relationships and discusses ideas with real estate developers long before anyone puts pencil to paper. To win contracts, construction companies need to be marketing themselves and aggressively going after business before developers are even imagining their projects.

In business, relationships are more important today than ever. Successful professionals build relationships constantly, but you must be patient, because sometimes it takes a long time before a given relationship puts dollars in your pocket.

Long-standing relationships are particularly hard to break, which is why they are so valuable.

For seven years, I taught a real estate sales-and-leasing course at a local university.  I would tell the students to build new relationships deliberately and actively, but that they can’t expect every relationship to bear fruit immediately.

One of my former students, a very talented one, earned her real estate license and affiliated with a local brokerage company. She was active in the community and had a large network of friends. She was dismayed on two separate occasions when a relative and a friend chose NOT to use her as their real estate agent.

You see, these people had bought and sold houses before and chose to keep their former real estate agents. Why? Those agents had performed well and had built business relationships that were too strong for the unproven newbie to break.  My former student was persistent. She marketed herself to everyone she knew and to hundreds of people she had never met. A year later, she had built business relationships and was closing deals.

Sometimes you can become so busy working, that you forget to build new relationships and foster underdeveloped relationships that could blossom with a little tender loving care.

We are operating in a highly competitive, fast-paced, global economy that doesn’t take time to stop and smell the roses. In such an environment, we must foster relationships constantly in order to avoid being trampled underfoot.

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at info@jeffbeals.com or call us at (402) 637-9300.

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The 15 Imperatives of Successful Prospecting & Qualifying

By Jeff Beals

  1. Don’t neglect top-of-funnel prospecting even when you’re busy closing a couple deals at once.
  2.  Your targeted prospects truly should be the people whose problems you are best equipped to solve.
  3. Leads from branding and marketing efforts are nice, but, over time, your future depends on clients you go out and get.
  4. A prospect who does not look so promising at first can become a desirable one if you see him or her through a different lens.
  5. Buy prospecting lists but remember the best information comes from asking a lot of questions of many people.
  6. Log every prospect conversation so you never end up going back on your word.
  7. If you are blessed with support staff, delegate everything except those things that can only be done by a sales pro—you.
  8. By targeting diamonds in the rough, you enjoy access to the prospect without the burden of heavy competition.
  9. Keep an open mind. A prospect might be able to fill more than one client role.
  10. Referrals work better when you really know the referrer.
  11. Never take a strong referral for granted. You still need to earn the business.
  12. The earlier you qualify, the more efficient you’ll be. Part of qualifying is determining if the client is right for you.
  13. Don’t be star-struck by a too-good-to-be-true prospect.
  14. Personally qualify instead of relying on second-hand information.
  15. While elimination of suspects is the goal of qualifying, be careful not to dismiss too soon.

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at info@jeffbeals.com or call us at (402) 637-9300.

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Quick Thoughts on Generating Referrals

By Jeff Beals

One of the most effective prospecting sources ever known to exist is the referral. When current or past clients put their names on the line in advocacy of your business, you have instant credibility with prospects. But referrals do not come easily. They must be earned. You earn them by showing integrity during the sales process and by delivering after the deal is signed.

When you make referrals a major part of your prospecting strategy, make sure you know the referrer. If you are familiar with the referrer’s personality, you know how seriously to take the referral. Is the person an exaggerator? Is the person prone to minimizing things and making understatements? Or is this person’s opinion rock solid and are referrals rare?

Just because you have a strong referral from a quality source doesn’t mean that you can assume anything.  Closing a referred prospect can take just as  much work as a prospect sourced in a different way.

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at info@jeffbeals.com or call us at (402) 637-9300.

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Keeping Your Brand Young Despite the Steady March of Time

By Jeff Beals

Once a brand achieves a high level of respect and recognition, the challenge is to keep it there.

Brands have lifecycles. They’re born. They grow. At some point, they may have a dramatic, rapid ascent to the top of an industry. Once there, they go into the maturity phase. You want the maturity phase to last a long time, because after that comes decline and eventually death.

Nothing lasts forever but leaders can take measures to keep brands at the top. Commitment is critically important. If a brand’s leaders lose their enthusiasm, become lazy or no longer value the brand, decline sets in.  And it’s not just the leaders who affect brand strength.  Each individual sales rep contributes to brand perception based on his or her attitude, commitment and effort.

Assuming you want to keep your brand at the top, remember that excellence is fundamental. If the product or service remains outstanding, you have won a big part of the branding battle. Great companies may experience some peaks and valleys, but their leadership does what it takes to excel over the course of time.

Next, companies must keep up with consumers’ changing tastes and consequently tweak the brand from time to time. If a company’s brand becomes too stale or old-fashioned, consumers — especially young ones — are going to drift.

When a brand makes it big, the brand’s leader needs to balance two things: a commitment to the fundamentals that built the brand in the first place and the need to keep the brand responsive to the changing desires of the target audience. The longer you can keep these two things in balance, the longer you stay viable.

So where is your brand in its lifecycle?  Are you doing enough to keep it as “young” as possible?

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at info@jeffbeals.com or call us at (402) 637-9300.

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How to Become One of Those Highly Involved Professionals

By Jeff Beals

The American philosopher Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “I went to the woods, because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to love deep and suck out all the marrow of life.”

As we do our work, we need to live deliberately and suck out all the marrow of our “career lives.”  Being highly engaged with the world that surrounds us puts us in the middle of the action.  That’s important, because the vast majority of major clients are acquired only through relationship building and nearly three quarters of all job openings are never advertised.

In order to be successful, you must be involved. As professionals, we have to be active, energetic and engaged in our communities. We have to get out of the cubicle, jump off the couch and embrace the world around us.

Involvement helps you find new clients. It taps you into the job-market grapevine. It allows you to be “top-of-mind” in your profession.

Simply put, involvement helps you reach your goals. As long as you don’t burn the candle and both ends, being involved can actually make you more effective in your work.

But what’s the best way to get involved? There are many options, and what you choose to do is entirely up to you. To make your choice a little easier, here is my list of the Top 10 Ways to Get Involved:

  1. Professional & Trade Associations – bring people of one profession together for educational and networking purposes. These groups are particularly useful for career advancement assuming you want to stay in your current field.
  2. Chambers of Commerce – offer an array of programs designed for professionals. Chambers provide an opportunity to learn from and network with professionals from a wide variety of businesses from all parts of your city. They are great for client acquisition, B2B sales, discovering behind-the-scenes information and for bolstering your career opportunities.
  3. Philanthropy & Non-Profit Boards – allow you to make the world a better place while fostering friendships with fellow board members and philanthropists who can help you reach your business goals.
  4. Networking Organizations – are carefully chosen groups of professionals who get together on a regular basis to share ideas, give each other referrals and talk about rumors in the marketplace. In order to receive value from these organizations, you must first be willing to give value.
  5. Service Clubs & Fraternal Organizations – are groups such as Rotary, Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, etc. These organizations can be demanding of your time but allow you to build meaningful relationships with fellow members. People who join these groups tend to be social, caring “go-getters” who have done well in their careers.
  6. Religion – provides spiritual and emotional benefits while exposing you to people who hold similar beliefs. What’s more, places of worship tend to be among the most active, lively organizations you can find and are especially good at connecting people.
  7. Politics – include interest groups, political parties and election campaigns. Political involvement is “hands-on” and allows you to grow close with fellow members as you work toward a common cause.
  8. Youth Organizations – Kid’s activities need parents and grandparents to provide leadership. In so doing, you are connected with other adults. The downtime provides great networking and relationship-building opportunities.
  9. The Arts – allow you pursue an enjoyable passion while making contacts and establishing name recognition. Most arts organizations are in need of many volunteers and will welcome you with open arms.
  10. Sports & Recreation – keep you healthy and fit while building friendships. There’s just something about physical activity and team competition that naturally fosters healthy relationships.

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at info@jeffbeals.com or call us at (402) 637-9300.

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Sales Management: Putting People in Stretch Assignments

By Jeff Beals

[An excerpt from my sales book, “Selling Saturdays: Blue Chip Sales Tips from Football”]

At one point during his long tenure as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers, Phillip Fulmer unexpectedly lost one of his assistant coaches to a job in the National Football League. The sudden defection happened right in the middle of recruiting season, which created a hardship for the rest of the coaches left behind. Trying to hire a top-notch assistant coach at that time of year is next to impossible.

As it turned out, the Volunteers had a woman on staff who worked in the academic center. Possessed of a charismatic personality, she had an uncanny ability to relate to people and establish rapport with prospects and their families when they would come to campus for official visits.

Not wanting to be short-handed during college football’s prime selling season, Fulmer turned to the academic center employee and asked her to serve as an interim assistant football coach for seven weeks until he could find a permanent replacement.

“She was a full-fledged coach. She was my ninth coach,” Fulmer said. “You should have seen the looks we got crossing paths with some of the competing coaches as they were coming out of players’ homes and we were going in or vice versa. We must have been turned in five times, but it was perfectly legal. We checked the NCAA rules. She was our coach.”

As head coach, Fulmer assumed the role of Tennessee football’s sales manager, the person responsible for making sure the sales staff was in place, equipped to succeed and motivated to compete. Like all good sales managers, Fulmer had to think quickly on his feet and take immediate, decisive actions to mitigate any threat to the organization’s ability to sell. Sales managers facilitate the sales process and protect the organization’s ability to do deals.

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at info@jeffbeals.com or call us at (402) 637-9300.

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Very Important Tools But Nothing More Than Tools

By Jeff Beals

Once upon a time there was an invention so amazing that it permanently changed the way products and services were sold.

This fascinating new medium became a transformational technology.  Because of its creation, the marketing and sales professions were forever changed.  If you weren’t using this new medium, you were like a dinosaur, in danger of extinction.  So exciting was this cutting-edge marketing channel that some customers bought things they really didn’t need or want just because it was so exciting to make purchases in such a novel way.

Are you thinking of the Internet or email-based marketing?

Sorry, that’s not it.

Are you thinking of social media?

Nope, it’s not that either.

Are you thinking of some really cool marketing channel that harnesses the power of your mobile device and sends a message totally customized to your needs and wants?

Strike three.  Not that either.

What cutting-edge technology changed the world of marketing forever?

The telephone.

Yes, that’s right: I’m talking about the lowly telephone, a device invented nearly 140 years ago.

Believe it or not, there was actually a time when consumers purchased things just because they were available over the telephone.  There was a time when outbound telemarketing was so new that some people actually enjoyed receiving such calls.  At one point in history, the perpetual growth of telephone-based selling appeared to be endless.  Everyone rushed into telephone selling like lemmings on a mad dash for the nearest cliff.

Eventually, telephone marketing suffered from the “too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen syndrome.”  Consumers grew to hate telephone marketing so much that some people disconnected their home phone lines when they came home from work each evening.  Telemarketing became so abusive that Congress eventually created the Do Not Call list.

Remember the dotcom bubble that burst in 2000?  Speculative investors were so euphoric over the Internet’s selling potential that they threw billions of dollars into dotcom startups, many of which were selling ridiculous products and had meaningless business plans (if they had any plans at all).  The bubble inspired jokesters to make up fictitious corporate names such as “TieClasp.com,” “eSocks.com,” and my absolute favorite, “PimentoLoaf.com.”

New technology comes and goes.  As I write this, marketers are coming up with new and creative ways to sell through newly invented channels.  That’s great.  Innovation is a critical component to economic success.

Companies and individuals are working hard to come up with new ways to harness the power of social media and to figure out the right approach to mobile marketing.

We now hear people say that if a company isn’t engaging clients on social media, it’s in danger of going the way of the dinosaurs.  In general, for most companies, that’s probably true.  But when it comes to marketing and technology, all must be kept in context and viewed through the proper prospective.

The medium used to communicate with your target audience is just that – a medium.  Whether you are using the phone, direct mail, email-based marketing, social media engagement or door-to-door salesmen, the product or service must stand on its own merit.

Fundamentals matter.  If your product has a viable market, it will sell.

Just because you purchase LinkedIn ads, have countless likes on Facebook and capture clients’ imaginations with your creative presence online doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed success.

Regardless of the medium and where we might be at any given point in technological history, human beings are essentially the same.  They make purchases based on what they value and do business with individuals and organizations they trust.

Whether you’re doing business in 1914, 2014 or a hundred years from now, you will be successful if you figure out exactly what people want and give it to them on their terms.  Sure, there may be temporary occasions where some new innovation whips up a frenzy of irrational buying, but over the course of time, good marketing fundamentals will win the game.

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at info@jeffbeals.com or call us at (402) 637-9300.

Click here to subscribe to Jeff’s weekly articles!http://bit.ly/1l86RC6 

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Be Wary of the Money-Losing Client

By Jeff Beals

When many sales professionals think of prospecting, they think only about the prospect’s interest in their businesses. While that is crucially important, great care must be taken to make sure the prospect makes sense for you too. If you harbor any doubts about the prospect’s likelihood of producing a profit for you, hesitate and do more study before bringing him or her on board.

Businesses have to be wary of the client who is too good to be true.

Too many times, businesses bring on a client who appears to be outstanding but ends up costing the company more than he generates. Such costs could include an actual loss of dollars, time, resources, reputation, goodwill or employee happiness and productivity. Factor in opportunity costs as well. A client who is marginally profitable but causes you to miss out on other business is indirectly a money-losing client.

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at info@jeffbeals.com or call us at (402) 637-9300.

Click here to subscribe to Jeff’s weekly articles! http://bit.ly/1l86RC6 

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You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to anyone else who might benefit from it.