If You Sell Anything, You Are the Product

No, not like that. No one is actually going to buy you, there’s no sexual innuendo (mostly) and this isn’t an exhortation on the commercialism of our society.

But if you sell anything using the Internet, (as in you have a website, a FB page, Twitter, or even Kijiji) you are selling yourself. 100% of the time, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Image has always mattered. Successful salespeople have always been blessed with physical attractiveness, charm, a blend of the two, or the ability to fake them. What has changed if the landscape in which we are selling our products. Today your social currency is more important and more visible than at any other point in history. You are searchable: your opinions, personality (or lack thereof), your trustworthiness, and your capability – all out there in public for anyone to find.

Today, your buyer has already Googled your product, asked their Facebook friends for recommendations, and read online reviews – all before you even know they exist. We are a society of researchers with infinite information at our fingertips. Sellers are no longer the experts on features and benefits – buyers have Twitter and Pinterest for that.

What they want, what everyone in our communication-driven, connection-deprived society wants is you

They want to support people who are worth their effort, and they want to see the good guy succeed. Buyers today are more cautious and less credulous, likely owing to the sheer glut of information, advertising, and social engineering they live in. They are looking for someone to root for, to stand behind, to earn their loyalty.

What does that mean for salespeople? It means a huge paradigm shift. It means that when discussing sales strategy, branding, or your marketplace, you must focus as much on the individual as you are on the product. Know as much about your strengths and weaknesses as you do about features and benefits.  You need to hone and shape your and your employees’ personal branding (and, at times, even their personality.) If you’re an introvert, great! An extrovert, awesome! One of those lucky ambiverts we’re reading about everywhere lately? Lucky you! Let people know in no uncertain terms who they’re dealing with. Chances are, you will start to connect with buyers on a level you had never before imagined, and you will create not just customers, but lifelong clients and cheerleaders.

Once you have your message, it’s time to get it out there. Find your voice. Share your tastes. The best way to be your brand is to have your brand be you. (Read it again. It makes sense, trust me.)

And show your enthusiasm. Don’t drown your excitement for your cool new twist on an old favourite. Show your love for what you sell and watch others fall in love too.

Sell yourself. And be worth the price.