A wise Sales Manager early in my career once told me when onboarding at a large company:
- Build your brand.
- Build your network.
- Build your business.
He was clear about the importance of the order of operation, and I think that his wisdom ultimately became part of how I run my business and a core in my sales philosophy.
Build Your Brand
In building my brand, I demonstrate my unique perspective and value proposition… of course externally with a customer, but often more importantly, within my own company. I come armed with a distinct, but well thought out perspective that is differentiated from my competitors and my peers. It gets me noticed, makes me memorable, and shows that a salesperson can absolutely add value to the process.
Build Your Network
In building my network, I seek out and build relationships with those company leaders who can help to shorten my sales cycle, can educate me with an angle I may not have thought about, and can ultimately help get my voice heard inside of my own company. These relationships can be with executive leadership, sales leads, product or technical leaders, supply chain folks…value comes from many areas.
Build Your Business
My time in the field has taught me that sometimes engaging with the customer is significantly less challenging than maneuvering my company through a sales cycle and into a winning position. Once items one and two are under way, building my business becomes less challenging. I now have a team of solid “go to” resources that understand my unique approach, and that I can call on to bring their perspective to my cycle (either sales strategy or customer-facing).
I’ve grabbed components of my sales philosophy from many places. A nugget from a sales training or two or perhaps from lessons learned in the heat of battle. It’s a rare manager that brings me a simple message that can resonate over a decade later. I remember him often, and try to assist my peers to leverage a similar approach to success.