How are you perceived by your target market? That’s ‘positioning’. Your most valuable asset is your reputation, it acts as a magnet for new business leads. Customers will choose you because of your reputation – that’s the real value of your brand

Perception is everything. It’s not the reality, it’s the perception of reality that counts. Everything you do is either contributing to or detracting from the way the customer views you. Like a jigsaw, if one piece is missing, the whole picture is spoiled. Highlight this in your sales training.

Corporate positioning

Have you ever considered what people say about your organisation before they meet you?

One of the unassailable laws of marketing is that we get the sort of business we are positioned for. Whatever you sell, pause for a moment and ask yourself this question: ‘How is my company perceived by my customers?’ And then ask: How would we like to be perceived? Are they the same?

Your sales aids and brochures must be as good as the product. Advertising and PR must reflect a predetermined positioning. Everything counts – reputation, superb customer service, how the phone is answered, what’s on your website, your LinkedIn and social media profile. Everything you do is having a drip-drip effect on shaping the way your customer perceives you, so it must all be thought through.

Otherwise it will happen by accident and is unlikely to be what you want.

Unless you are in the marketing department or on the board, you don’t have that much control of corporate positioning. What you do have 100 per cent control of is your personal positioning.

Personal positioning

How are you perceived? What do people say about you when you’re not there? What would you like them to say?

We often ask this question to delegates attending sales training courses. The answer is usually ‘They’re a great person.’ While we all want to be liked, this kind of comment is not likely to help us penetrate an important account.

We studied personal positioning and found that there are three things major customers say about outstanding salespeople:

  • ‘They really understand my business and my industry. I learn from them.’ That’s surely the greatest compliment a customer can pay.
  • ‘They are helping me solve my problems/achieve my goals.’
  • ‘They work for me, like an unpaid member of my own staff.’

Think about it – if customers say that about you, what’s going to happen when a competitor tries to break into the account? You’ve got it made.

As products and services become more and more alike, the difference is in the salespeople who sell them. We must differentiate ourselves. Constantly ratchet up your effectiveness by asking yourself how you can be recognised as the most capable in your field.

Learn more about LDL sales programmes.

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