Sellers: Are you the Brown Box or the Custom Package?

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In your industry, who are the stand-out experts? They probably come to mind immediately. That’s because they’ve done a fantastic job positioning themselves as experts. Of course, they have the experience and knowledge to back up their position, but nobody can deny that their personal branding and positioning has also paid off.

Now step back for a moment and ask yourself a simple question:

How does that person’s reputation as an expert impact their sales volume and the price they can ask for their services? 

Clearly, authority impacts sales. Sales Coach and Author Steve Brossman says that authority translates to “buying energy” and that every sales professional should rethink their position in their niche or industry.

For the last 10 years, Steve has worked with CEOs, Founders, and Entrepreneurs to help them develop their personal brands. He hasn’t viewed what he does as “sales training.” But his clients repeatedly tell him that his training is the best sales training they’ve experienced. What his students are talking about is his focus on developing “buying energy” through your persona from the moment people lay eyes on you.

You’re probably putting yourself out there as a “brown box”

Steve’s focus on uniquely positioning yourself within your industry or profession is vital because most industries have a particular “brown box” that the majority of people fall into. Imagine a generic, brown package on a store shelf. It may say what it is, but you don’t know the value or benefits until you open it up.

Look at the common title and roles in your industry and you’ll find the brown box Steve’s talking about.

  • Sales Manager
  • Outside Sales Associate
  • Strategic Sourcing Manager
  • Account Executive

When there are hundreds or thousands of others in your industry who wear the same handle as you, how can you expect to stand out as a leader and authority? Nobody is excited about talking to another “Account Executive”—which often translates into a low level of enthusiasm about engaging in a sales call with you.

But be clear, the magic is not in changing your title to something hip or trendy. The change comes when you differentiate yourself as an expert in the thing you provide, and that begins with how you engage with prospects from the outset. Steve asks, “How can you start the conversation in a way that makes you out to be the leader and authority in your sphere?”

Become the custom package

When you position yourself with authority and a unique persona you do a number of things differently. You provide truly valuable information and resources in the form of videos, visuals, books, etc. You want your prospects to see you as a helpful, knowledgeable, expert in your niche or industry.

But you also want to do things in your interaction with prospects that heighten their interest in you and what you have to say. Steve points to your favorite Barista who always greets you by name, as an example. You like how she makes you feel so you keep going back to that coffee shop.

On a brain-science level this means stimulating endorphins and dopamine to give prospects a pleasant or desirable feeling about you. When they feel good about you, an appointment or connection with you actually feels desirable.

How can you practically do this? As one example, Steve points to his use of quick, simple, personalized videos to confirm sales appointments. He’ll record a 30 second, informal message on his phone that says, “Hi NAME, this is Steve. I noticed that you scheduled an appointment to chat with me on DATE. I’ve looked over your website and skimmed your social profiles a bit and have jotted down a quick list of ideas we can discuss regarding the needs you noted on your appointment. I’m excited for our call, I’ll see you then.”

This simple confirmation has resulted in only one no-show to Steve’s sales appointments over the last year. He’s even had prospects reschedule on their own multiple times to ensure they don’t miss the opportunity to chat with him. Steve says that the good feeling they receive from the unique video makes a connection that they don’t want to miss out on.

Steve’s insight into the process of uniquely positioning yourself is truly game-changing. Take the time to listen to his conversation with Mark Raffan, on the Negotiations Ninja podcast.