Your name matters to your business prospects — or does it?
Here is a question I’ve received more than a hundred times in one form or another: How do I make a (better) name for myself?
Here is the premise, the definition and the answer: In sales it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.
The challenge is not just making a name for yourself or building your brand; it’s building the components that generate that name. How do you achieve more recognition, more notoriety and a better reputation in your market and your community?
Those are the elements that lead to a better name.
And to be clear, I’m talking about a better name for both company and individual.
There are no easy answers. And there are very few answers that don’t require commitment, planning and work — hard work.
Good news: Most salespeople are not willing to do the hard work it takes to make selling easy. So if you’re willing, you automatically move to the top 10 percent. And if you execute, you’re in the top 5 percent.
Major clue: How do you tell the whiners from the winners? The whiners are complaining about everything and they’re worried about “losing their job.” The winners are planning to win, believing they’ll win, and taking action. Which are you?
Better news: When the economy is in transition (that’s a nice way to put it, isn’t it?), it’s the easiest time for you to make a change and begin to execute new ideas.
Below are the actions that lead to long-term name building that must be implemented and built on. None of these elements are “do now and forget about”; rather they are “do now, do tomorrow and do forever.”
- Blog. It’s your way to communicate your thoughts and ideas to the world. Take a look at salesblog.com as an example of what works. Blog to show your human side. Make your blog a family affair, not just your business side. Show your personality, your passion and your fun. Mother Google will find you and reward you with listings.
- Create your own weekly e-zine that features valuable information and highlights your customers. Look at my weekly email magazine Sales Caffeine as an example. Go to salescaffeine.com and read about it. Look at an issue and emulate the process in your weekly e-zine. Sales Caffeine is 12 years of weekly value messages.
- Register www.(yourname).com today. It’s only 10 bucks. If it’s taken, put “The Great” or “the one and only” in front of it. Get your web address, your URL address, registered today. The world is on the web. The Internet is never going away. It’s the growth and the future of commerce. Be on it or be gone.
- Invest in a small but powerful website that looks like something people would read, admire, tell others about and maybe even buy from. Start with a one-page website that talks about “how I treat my customers.” Make a list of the 10 most valuable things to which you are dedicated. Later you can add more pages, pictures, graphics and pizzazz. But start small and be compelling.
- Be 1,000 percent more proactive. This means hitting both the phone and the send button. Make 10 calls a day that have value, and send 25 emails that have meaning to the recipient. Build relationships and earn referrals.
- Write something that puts you in front of customers and prospects. Put an article in your trade publication or your chamber magazine. Writing leads to recognition. Writing positions you as an expert and an authority.
- Give a speech or two at civic organizations. Speaking leads to perceived leadership — especially if the speech was good. (Afraid of speaking? Join Toastmasters and register for a Dale Carnegie course.)
- YouTube. Video your value proposition. Video your testimonials. Video your philosophy of sales and service. Post your videos on YouTube. Your customers and prospects will find them, and will find you more attractive than your (lazy) competitors.
- Get involved in your community. Pick one charity or one civic organization where you can get involved and assert leadership.
- Get more Google-able. Wake up, Sparky! Your customer is Google-ing you, just like you are Google-ing them. Your one-page website, your e-zine, your article, your speech and your community involvement will bring your name and your company’s name to the top of the Google pile.
- Be a value provider, not a beggar, a solicitor or a salesman. People will buy if they perceive your value. And they will spread the word, and your name.
Time is your friend: Be patient with it. Invest in it. Use it to your best advantage. To really build a name for yourself, it takes time. Lots of it. It takes commitment. Lots of it. And it takes consistency.
Your name means everything: Name and reputation are intertwined. Your value-based information, your exceptional service and your quality of product and person determine your reputation, your name and your fate. Those who become valuable to their customers, their marketplace and their community are the ones who win short term and long term.
What are people saying about you? When someone says your name, they’re also going to say one of five things about you: something great, something good, nothing, something bad, or something real bad. Whatever they say determines your fate.
If you want to build name recognition and a great reputation, you have to dedicate yourself to the long-term process and the short-term work.
If you want to learn my secret for long-term name recognition and loyal customers, go to gitomer.com, register if you’re a first-time visitor, and enter NAME in the GitBit box. Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 12 best-selling books. For public event dates and information about training and seminars, visit www.gitomer.com or email Jeffrey personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.