You research your prospective clients before you call them. You research them before you actually make a sales call, too (right?). You try to learn as much as you can about them so you’re prepared when you finally with them. And there’s a lot of information available. You learn a lot.
But that doesn’t mean that you are the only one doing their research in front of a sales opportunity. You are looking at your prospective client, and they are looking back. You Google them. They Google you. You check out their LinkedIn profile. They check out your LinkedIn profile.
What do you want your prospective clients to find? What do you want your digital surrogate to sell them?
Selling the Fact That You Are a Value Creator
You want your digital surrogate to sell the fact that you are a value creator. You want your dream client to find a long trail demonstrating that you are a person with deep knowledge, good ideas, and the ability to help.
Your digital surrogate needs to point to information and ideas that show you have that knowledge and that you know how to find good ideas. The knowledge you have can be your knowledge and the combined knowledge of all the people that work in your company. The ideas can be your ideas, as well as other people’s great ideas. Knowing where to find good ideas is a valuable skill your digital surrogate needs to possess.
Your dream clients are looking for proof that you are a good investment of their time.
Selling That You Can Help Produce Results
You also want your digital surrogate to sell the fact that you can help and that you can be trusted to deliver results. Your digital surrogate can be surrounded by references and testimonials from your past and present clients.
Your LinkedIn profile is a great place for your digital surrogate to build the fact that you can be trusted to produce results. Your personal website and your company websites are also good places for your digital surrogate to sell your ability to help. Digital You can point to your ability to produce those results without being offensive and without being “me” oriented.
Your dream clients want to see that you are serious about business.
No, You Aren’t a Secret Agent
Too many salespeople don’t have a digital surrogate at all. When a prospective client goes to look at them, they find nothing that speaks to the salesperson’s ability to create value or that they produce results. Instead they find incomplete profiles, some pitch from marketing about what the company does, and nothing personal enough to believe that the person behind the profile is in any way human.
You may not be interested in social media, but social media is interested in you. You may think that it’s unfair for your prospective clients to judge you because you don’t have a presence on the social web, but they’re going to judge you nonetheless.
You may not want a digital surrogate, but that choice is no longer up to you. If you’re going to succeed in sales, you are going to have to adopt the tools of the trade. These tools aren’t a substitute for the tools that came before them; they’re an addition to those tools. And just like you can’t opt out of using the telephone, you can’t opt out of using a digital surrogate.
Do you have a digital surrogate?
What does your digital surrogates sell?
How does your digital surrogate prove that you are a value creator and not a time waster?
How does your digital surrogate prove that you produce results?
If you’ve tried to opt out up until this point, what has to change for you to finally adopt some of the new tools of the trade?