In the old days, having a good network, the ability to get the attention of senior executives and buyers and close were attributes that helped you succeed. But now, you are competing with call centers spread across the globe, email harvesting and mass emailing, social media farms spread across the world and business developers willing to work for a song from the other side of the world. So, if you think you don’t have much competition – somebody who has ‘been there, done that’ or somebody willing to ‘work for next-to-nothing’, think again. How do you get attention and differentiate yourself so you can make a decent living?
You must stand above the noise and worldwide competition to be noticed and become more successful
Most business developers have a limited network of contacts. Your advantage, if you are in the local market, is the knowledge of the local market and the ability to work with local cultures (huge advantages). And, if you have no sales reluctance (if you know what that is, you are already in the top 10% of all sales people!), you have a huge advantage. BUT, you already know that getting the attention of new prospects is REALLY HARD. Unless they notice you and know your differentiation, how will they hire you?
I know that too having been a business developer for years. For years, I went about it the traditional way – just like everybody else, working my contacts, building the network, …. it did not work well. I am an MIT alum, have a huge network and…. By most measures, I have the creds and networks but notice that it has gotten harder. And, I know that ‘spray and hope’ is a terrible strategy, particularly when it comes to business development and sales.
I thought about it. Business development and sales success is not guaranteed by just network, abilities, pedigree, experience, etc. Prospects need to NOTICE you and know your differentiation. But, how do you stand above the noise??? It takes much deliberate effort for you to define yourself and rise above the noise. But, most people are simply doing the same thing (they have always been doing) and hoping for better results. Remember the old saying about that?
If you are simply an excellent business developer or sales person unknown beyond the small circle of clients or geography, you are doomed to have limited success (or failure). Based on my experience, I suspect that is the case for a majority of the business developers and sales people reading this.
In today’s noisy world, you need to define what you stand for and market your personal brand. Otherwise, the world will neither seek you out nor your idea.
I am…..(the words you put here define you and shape your future)
I have written an article about my learning on personal branding which you can read at http://bit.ly/pbblogpost. The sooner you act to define, package and promote your personal brand, the greater the likelihood that you and your consulting practice could get the attention it deserves. Your brand could be based on any number of things – your network, sales numbers, your memberships, brilliance, ability to attract people, customers, big-company-partners, capital, etc.; it could be based on your credentials, location, social causes, lifestyle, rags-to-riches story, etc.
I have found (after failing to see the ‘obvious’ for years) that a person who defines and promotes himself is better positioned to achieve greater success in life than a person who does not – hands down.
Most salespeople and business developers fail to recognize the importance of building their personal brand. They believe that “my numbers will speak for themselves”. They forget that in this noisy world, most people don’t even know you exist, let along know your numbers.
Most people ‘assume success’, one of the threats to business success that we found from a survey of 250 business people (including 60 millionaires) – see http://bit.ly/BizRelLand. Unless you failed to study probability (and keep buying lottery tickets at 1:186 million odds), you can now see what you need to do – define, build and market your personal brand – common sense and obvious.
I researched the various elements of personal branding required (as suite of services), and assembled a group of experts to provide them. You can simply let this team build and market your personal brand while you focus on dazzling your consulting clients. You can see some of the services we’ve identified at http://businessthinking.com/personal-branding-services.
My personal mission is to help more businesses succeed, increasing successful business owners and employing more people – raising the standard of living for everybody. I’m sure you want to be among the ones left standing and be a thriving business. I hate to see 70% of businesses fail. Please reach out to me if you’d like to have a conversation.