October 10, 2018
By Jacki Hart CLM
Prosperity Partners Program Manager

Jacki HartTo recap, over the last three columns, I’ve written about the key entrepreneurial skills of Engagement, Resilience and Focus. In my experience working with and mentoring business owners over the years, I believe mastering each of these important skills is key to the success of any business, regardless of the sector or industry you are in. In addition to these skills, salesmanship is also a crucial skill for a business owner to possess.

The owner of every business is its top brand manager. It is up to the business owner – the driver of the company bus – to ensure the brand promise (both internally and externally) matches the actions of the team, and the functionality of the products being sold.

It’s the business owner who can best train the team on what ‘script’ to use when speaking with customers, suppliers, potential customers and each other. It’s also the business owner who can best sell to the top accounts and rescue the customer relationship if things have come off the rails.

The following are three things to consider about your role in salesmanship.

Selling your internal brand

It’s important to align the team with your expectations for how they will deliver on the company promises. This important step starts with training, then mentoring your team on what the final result needs to be with respect to your customers experience, and the steps they will take to accomplish it. You need to sell them on how the company culture needs to be deployed, in order to deliver on the external brand promise. When your team is focused on your vision of successfully delivering on the company brand promise, that’s when the magic happens. And profit.

Selling your external brand

Everything that is communicated about your company to the marketplace (and internet) makes up the sum-total of your brand image. The expectations for the ‘experience’ of doing business with your company stems from your branding image and messaging. It’s up to you to ensure that as the top sales person, you are leading the brand in the direction that fits the strategy and deliverability of your promises.

Earning word of mouth referrals and reviews

The single-most relevant and effective sales funnel in your business comes from word of mouth and online reviews. This is where your company reputation for consistent experience and kept promises is measured and leveraged. As the leader in salesmanship, it’s up to you ensure your top accounts are asked for their referrals, and to ensure your team understands the huge value referrals bring to the bottom line profit. Good news travels fast and can build an important bank of right-fit clients to whom it’s easy to sell. Bad news travels faster and farther.

Take a few minutes to think about the ways in which you are highly-skilled at acquiring top and key accounts with your polished, confident style. How do you train others to walk that talk and learn the reasons behind your sales script? While you can’t force staff to say things exactly the way you do, you can use your well-articulated core values, purpose and vision to give them the company dictionary necessary for creating their own scripts and selling your company brand and customer confidence with their own style.

If you’re looking for ways in which you could improve the effectiveness and consistency of how your company delivers on its brand image – both internally and externally – Landscape Ontario’s Peer to Peer Network is here to help.

Jacki Hart may be reached at info.peertopeer@landscapeontario.com.