I love this question from “Uncle Paul Castain“. It’s a great way of boiling things down into one sentence. So what do people say about you behind your back? Bad things? Good things? Great things? And what great things? What do people think of when they think of YOU? What do people think is your “main thing”?
We’re increasingly an army of free agents. Seth Godin says we can choose to be a linchpin or a cog in someone else’s factory. Say you just happen to want to be a linchpin not a cog (funny you should choose that) then you need to stand for something unique, irreplaceable? So what is your “main thing”? What is your brand? Most importantly what do other people think is your “main thing”?
Want to get an opinion on what other people think your is your “main thing”? Then Google yourself. What do you see when you Google YOU? That’s a pretty good start on what people may think is your “main thing”. Do the results reflect what you want people to think? Are you just MIA? Does someone else come up all over Google’s page one versus you?
In this new world of Customer 2.0 being MIA in Google is not a good thing. It means your customer cannot check you out. Which means your cannot convey any trust. You missed a big chance to impress them. They could be finding testimonials on you. They could be finding examples of your past work. They could be finding lots of great content that positions you as a thought leader.
And yes, please don’t have the things that come up on Google be college photos of you with a lampshade on your head or smoking the hubbly bubbly. Customer 2.0 will Google you. Finding these things is not likely to paint the picture of you the way you want to move a sales cycle along the way you want.
Think about your Linkedin page as your own home page. Prospects will check you out personally not just your company website. People want to know what person they are dealing with. And we all know there’s much more interesting stuff on Linkedin than on some sanitized company bio. We’re all curious so we’ll dial up your Linkedin page. What’s on there? Great content? All aligned with brand YOU. Or just a sparse resume conveying no trust?
How about crossing the “great divide”? How about writing? Yes, writing. OK if you can’t write then speaking into a microphone or camera? Sales people need to start thinking about creating (or at least getting hold of) quality content that is relevant to their prospects. Customer 2.0 likes to search for content and you want to show up when they do as a subject matter expert.
You know most of the stuff your marketing group puts out is not well-tailored to your specific customers. So you need to take action and make content available that is. And you need to make that content available in the places where your customers hang out and search, including your Linkedin profile, Linkedin groups and even Twitter (where they look depends on your customers).
So yes, I am saying sales people need to be marketers. How else will you position YOU effectively. This is a place where sales and marketing alignment gets personal.
So what’s your “main thing”? What have you done to define it? What have you done to roll out that message to your customers and prospects? What are people saying behind your back about YOU?