10 Essentials: Company Brand vs. My Brand

The final in a series ten posts titled: 10 Essential B2B Sales Rep Attributes (and their 10 Essential Opposites).

Representing the Company Brand

Every company has a brand. That brand stands for something. It means something. One thing a brand does for a company is to separate it from its competitors. It differentiates. Great salespeople represent their company’s brand. They tell the story of what that brand means, what the company stands for, and how it is different. They understand how to use this differentiation to win deals.

If a salesperson can’t differentiate their offering in a crowded marketplace, they cannot pull themselves out of the pack to get the prospect or client’s attention. If they can’t explain what makes their brand better than the other offerings (and do so using real, true brand-defining differentiators), they cannot convince prospects that choosing them over their competitors will make a difference. Customers choose a brand because they believe what it stands for is better for them.

The downside to representing the company’s brand alone is that it is no longer enough.

Representing Your Brand

In addition to your company’s brand, you must have your own brand. You have to stand for something. What you stand for has to be different than the many salespeople that call on your prospects and compete for their attention and their business. It has to mean something more.

Your brand has to, in part, stand for the ability to create greater value for your customers. Your brand has to stand for doing what is right for the customer even when it is painful. If your brand doesn’t have a meaning, your company’s brand can’t mean anything  either . . . you are your company. And sometimes, when all of the entries in the multiattribute model spreadsheet are entered, the only thing that separates the deal winner from the deal loser is what your brand created. Did it create trust. Did it create a vision of a better outcome? Did it create the confidence that the customer’s business results will be achieved?

Conclusion

Like the other nine essential attributes and opposites, you have to develop your personal brand yourself. This whole series is truly about personal and professional development. Only you can and develop the skills necessary to deliver on your brand’s promise. You alone are responsible for your growth and development.

Thanks for joining me here and for giving me your attention. I have had these ideas sketched out on a to do list for longer than I care to remember. I have always wanted to write down and share these ideas, and I thank you for receiving them so warmly. I hope that these ideas have inspired you to think about the attributes that are essential to succeeding in sales today. Your list will almost certainly be different than mine. If you write a list, I challenge you to think about whether the attributes you believe are essential come with another side, if they are dichotomous. If you find that they are, develop both together.

Questions

  1. What does your brand stand for?
  2. How does your brand separate you from the pack?
  3. What could your brand stand for? Who would you have to be for that brand to mean something?

Comments

comments

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  • Juan Lulli

    Can’t help to think of your personal brand’s extension as your fundamental key #assetofthefuture that @heykeenan is articulating. Thanks very much for your series.

  • http://www.visiblelogic.com/blog Emily Brackett

    It can a tricky thing for a business owner to figure out: is it the corporate brand or the personal brand that I’m representing. With the increasing importance of social web sites like Twitter and Facebook, it’s even more confusing. Those channels are set-up with individual accounts, but many companies are using them to build brand awareness.

    I put together a blog post with some ideas about how to navigate those channels: http://www.visiblelogic.com/blog/index.php/2009/12/selecting-a-strong-brand-name/

  • http://www.salesbuzz.com/training/ Sales Training Program

    “If a salesperson can’t differentiate their offering in a crowded marketplace”…. if they can’t differentiate themselves, they should never pick up the phone in the first place.

    • http://www.santhonyiannarino.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks for the comment, Michael. I agree; but you know there is still a lot of work to do here, especially in B2B sales.

  • Ted Hassler

    Anthony,
    Thank you very much for your insight. Also, congratulations on “putting pen to paper” and completing your goal of sharing your knowledge with other sales professionals.
    My takeaway will be that, as in all things in life, the sales process is a balance between extremes. We all have different styles, so we must adapt the knowledge available to us to fit our situation if we are to grow and succeed.
    I, personally, hope I never know it all. Rather, I hope that I learn something new everyday, for all the days I have left!

    • http://www.santhonyiannarino.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Ted: I am more and more of the belief that the Yin and Yang symbol I opened the series with is worthy of imitation. This whole series, and much of what I write and think about, is growth. Hope the days you have left are many!

      A

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