IT Consulting Sales: A Lot More Personal than Most Realize
Jennifer Holloway, Founder of Spark, presented a seminar about Personal Branding at Business 2012 in London. She made some compelling arguments, backed up by solid evidence. This is what SMEs need to do to make sure that they position themselves to make the most of their IT consulting sales opportunities.
Your IT Business Branding Efforts to Date
Do these scenarios sound familiar?
You’ve made sure, as far as you can, that your brand speaks to its audience on an emotional level. However, you are still not generating the leads or closing sales at a level that is comfortable to you.
Follow It Through With Every Person in the Organization
However, branding your business is not the end of the story. People buy from people. This is equally true for B2C and B2B sales. Selling to people is complicated because they make snap judgments.
On average, people make up their mind about the person within seven seconds of the initial contact.
However, it might surprise you to know that this is via all types of media—voice mail, email, on the telephone, and of course face-to-face. Not only do they make these snap judgments, but they also turn out to be accurate about 80% of the time.
This means that it really pays off to make sure that you and everyone else in the organization are giving the right first impression.
In order to make more IT consulting sales, you need to be viewed as a trusted advisor. Your personal brand lays down the groundwork by letting people know whom they are buying into and the uniqueness that you bring to the table.
Areas of Personal Branding To Work On
Here are the key areas that you need to work on to ensure that you are projecting a personal brand that will help you to increase your IT consulting sales:
Image – Everything about you has to reflect your personal brand, right down to the photos that you use across the Internet as profile images. Make sure your clothes, speech, body, handshake, and voice reflect your brand.
Skills – Look at your natural talents and focus on what you are good at.
Behavior – You need to have a personality and this has to be authentic and something that your audience can relate to.
Reputation – Your personal brand is your reputation; work out what the one thing you need to be known for is and then make sure that shines through.
Beliefs – Your personal beliefs are important as far as they relate to the business world. Consider what motivates you, why you run your business, and what you hold true. Once you have a firm grasp of these, make sure this passion is fully on display.
Values – Your values are something else you need to work on from a business perspective. What do you hold to be right or wrong? And how does that flow through to the way you conduct your business?
Look At All the Areas of Personal Branding
People make snap judgments in those few seconds from and about all of these things. You have to know who you are and display this clearly and authentically to your audience. Additionally, make sure that you follow through to reinforce your personal branding.
Finally, be coherent and consistent across all written, verbal, and physical contact. If you get this right, then you are well positioned to be viewed as a trusted advisor and ultimately convert those relationships into IT consulting sales.
Do you find it challenging to do business in this way? Or do you simply believe personal branding to be psychobabble? Let us know about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.
And to learn more about how you can apply this information to IT consulting sales for small business VARs and MSPs, download the free special report on the Seven IT Sales Secrets for Attracting High-Lifetime-Value Clients.
Image Source: Jennifer Holloway of Spark Personal Branding