Did you ever hear a salesperson say, “Thank you but I prefer to remain anonymous. I don’t want people to know who I am or what I do.”
Sounds absurd, I agree, but it is actually commonplace. The problem is these same salespeople don’t know they are making this statement. Most don’t have a clue.
Lack of a personal brand
What I’m referring to is the fact that the vast majority of financial services sales professionals fail to distinguish themselves by developing a personal brand. And without this powerful addition to their array of assets–knowledge, experience, expertise–they remain just another salesperson in the pack.
If you have always associated brands with companies only, your view is myopic and worse than that, it places an artificial limitation on your production and potential.
So what is a personal brand and how do you develop one? First and foremost, it is a way of distinguishing you from the thousands of men and women who, minus brands, appear to do the same thing you do: They sell the same products and offer the same services.
With a brand, you compete on a far higher and more professional plane. Put simply, you do so by cultivating a reputation, a trademark, a signature for doing something exceptionally well. More than that, you become “best of breed.”
Case in point: When my family was young and it came time for me to purchase life insurance, I went on a quest for the ideal agent to serve my special needs as a new homeowner, husband and father of a 6-month old son.
As I surveyed the landscape, seeking referrals and checking various directories, I discovered that virtually all of the candidates touted expertise in serving high-net-worth individuals. This was the pillar of their practice–or so they claimed.
One word no one would apply to my net worth at the time was “high.” Given my relatively paltry finances, I knew I didn’t belong with the agents who prided themselves as being advisors to the rich. That would be a sure way to be a small fish in a big pond.