You are selling yourself and you are pretty darn good, but companies are not biting. What’s the problem? It could be a number of items, but in this case, I believe it is branding issue. My client, Russell, wondered why he isn’t landing more business. Think about this scenario.
Buying a product process
Before you buy a nice camera, what do you do? If you are anything like me, you look up cameras and figure out which features are available. When do you use the bells and whistles? What are the pros and cons of this camera? Is the lens clumsy and heavy? Will you need to invest in a sturdier tripod? If this is a new product, is there support, is it tested, has the company been around? You google “Canon EOS 7D” “quality” and “Canon EOS 7D” “complaint” to check for other people’s reviews besides the vendors.
- Ask your friends
- Ask a question to linked in
- Ask your facebook friends
- Ask the local camera store
- Go to photography sites
After you select the product, it’s time to buy. Where do you buy it? You compare prices, shipping, and time schedules. You google “fraud” “store name” and “store name” “bad service” to look avoid these stores. This product runs about $1800 plus shipping. Yes, I will spend at least a couple of hours researching to get the best product.
Some people might go to the store and ask the sales person for suggestions and buy it. However, the buyer may be dissatisfied because they discover later, the camera doesn’t have the features that he now wants.
You are the product
If you want to be company the client hires, your reviews, benefits, features, google searches, and word of mouth publicity, need to back up your greatness. To maximize your Return On Image and to come off as an established, professional company, your brand must be aligned and echoed by the following factors:
- In person: your personality, your presence, your movement
- On the phone: your voice quality, words per minute, the feel of your voice
- Online presence: your consistency across all of your materials.
Back to Russell and no nibbles…
When Russell pitches to his potential client at a meeting, what happens? The service he sells is in the $8000 range. Do you think his potential client is researching him? Are your clients researching you?
People are very busy and may give you 45 minutes to talk about your service, but they may not do their homework until after they meet with you, but they will do it. If they don’t like your presentation, they just saved themselves research time. It easier for them to sit back and have you pitch to them. When you do a great job identifying how you solve their problem, then they will get to the “let’s check the reviews stage.” Russell presented well and his client is interested. He has passed the “in person” and “on the phone” phase.
After Russell’s meeting, the company then spends time to research to confirm he is as great as he sounds. This is the 3rd factor, the online presence. They will look for 3rd party endorsements, history, google him and his company and will askg around. This is where you need your branding to come through for you. When a company googles or bings you, what do they find? Is your social media there? Are you looking professional, organized and consistent with your brand, colors, fonts, pictures, and messages? Are you up to date or “so last century?” Does your website look like you and your business card, or is it your picture from 5-10 years ago? Do they find anything on you? If you are is great as you sound, then how come you are not “googleable?” There is a disconnect?
In Russell’s case, his online presence was not prevalent and he and his company was hard to find. His website didn’t have his company name and had very limited information. This looks like a good sales person, but from his online presence he does not look experienced and may not have track record. He looks like a newbie.
Even if you are newbie, you can overcome this by looking professional through all of your materials, profiles and technology. You can be new and be credible when your image is there to back you up. Companies don’t want to take risks. If you don’t look like you invest in your company like taking time to establish a solid brand, you are a risky investment. Get solid and maximize your Return On Image! Let your materials speak for you.