5 Lessons Learned from Social Media Market and Personal Branding

By Alex Drew

As this semester comes to a close I now have time to think back and reflect on some of the lessons learned through my Social Media and Marketing class. Coming into the class I really only had the most basic understanding of social media and how to properly brand yourself. Howvever, upon completing this course I now feel confident in my ability to use social media as a tool to further expand my learning while creating a brand for myself for future employers. Here are my top 5 lessons learned.

5.  The Value of a Personal Learning Network (PLN)

I now realize just how powerful a PLN can be. Through the use of my own PLN I was able to read and share helpful content for my career focus and greatly expanded my knowledge of the subject.

4. The Value of LinkedIN

Through this course I really have mastered LinkedIn and now know how to use it as a tool to connect with future employers. This was one of my favorite sites to work with and I am confident now in my ability to make beneficial connections and to put myself in a position for a great job upon graduating.

3. The Value of Twitter

Before this class I only viewed twitter as a way to interact with friends and as a tool to try to make others laugh. I had no idea the possibilities for learning and branding yourself twitter had to offer. Now I know how to use twitter as a tool to further my education into sales and also how to connect and interact with some of the leading sales experts in the industry.

2. Google+

Before this past semester I had never even heard of Google+! Now, however, I fully understand all its capabilities and the benefits it offers from creating valuable connections and interacting with groups. Also, I enjoyed connecting with some of my twitter followers on Google+ which really helped to form a solid social relationship.

1. Brand yourself

The best lesson this class has taught me was the importance to find a passion and use that to brand yourself to your peers and future employers. I always knew I wanted to be involved in professional sales. However, now I understand how to properly brand myself in a way as people see me as a great source on the subject and have positioned myself great for job opportunities after graduating.

In closing, this has been one of the most beneficial and challenging classes I have ever taken. Overall I think I was very successful in building a brand for myself and extending my knowledge into the subject of professional sales. Thank you for a great semester!

image via http://www.beainstitute.org/

3 Tips for Prospecting

By Alex Drew

As many successful salespeople know prospecting is the lifeline for your business. Without the proper list of prospects it is impossible to succeed in the sales world. You must continuously strive for finding qualified prospects and potential clients. Here are my 3 tips for successful prospecting:

3. Start with who you know

Have you honestly reached out and made an attempt at ground zero which is who you already know? Often times people are afraid to call friends and family in fear of bothering them. When I was selling life insurance for Northwestern Mutual I feared contacting my family and friends more then calling strangers! However, upon doing so I realized that it was not a  big deal and they were happy to help me and even generate me some business. Do not miss out on this opportunity. Do not let the fear of offending your family and friends get in the way of your success.

2. Contact past connections

Everybody thinks they do not know many people but this is false. You must get creative. When generating new contacts truly think about all the organizations or teams you have been apart of. For me, I found a world of opportunity when I begun to connect with past teachers, coaches, and even doctors. Do not ever rule anybody out. You must use all your resources if you truly want to be successful. LinkedIn is a great way to connect with these lost connections and will provide you with the contact information to get in touch with these people.

3, Prospect using your clients

One of the best ways to get out of your warm market is to prospecting using your current clients. Whenever you meet with them and have made sure all their needs are met do not be afraid to ask for who they know. If you have formed the proper relationships with your clients they will be glad to help. Ask questions such as who they play golf with, who are their members of their family, who do they think would be great for my business, and who is in need for my services. You must ask these kinds of questions because it will be hard for them to think of them on the spot.

In summary, do not be afraid to ask your family and friends for help. These people will want to help you and see you succeed. Next, connect with everyone you know do not rule anybody out. Lastly, use your current clients to help generate you future business for asking who they personally know. If you follow these 3 simple steps I have no doubt you will start to see new business being generated and begin to form new relationships with clients.

For further reading:

Prospecting

Now, I would be interested to hear some of your successful prospecting tips.

Image credit: http://moneymadepersonal.com

 

 

 

Don’t sell. Help.

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By Alex Drew

One day last semester as I was sitting in my marketing class I learned one of the most valuable lessons to date. What my professor went on to explain and teach has stuck with me to this day and I want to share it with you. He stated:

“Successful salespeople don’t just sell people things, they help them find what they are looking for”

When you take a minute to think about this simple saying I hope it has the same effect on you as it did me. I thought back to all the times salespeople have assisted me and came to the conclusion that the truly successful ones were able to help me find what it was I was truly looking for.

Whether it was a new baseball glove, new bike, or even simply what to order at a restaurant the salespeople I remember and who have had an effect on me did not try to just push expensive product in my face. Instead, the most memorable sales experiences I have involved a person who truly helped me in my shopping process and wanted what was best for me.

Now, personally I have been in a positions where I was able to put this lesson into practice. While working for Northwestern Mutual Insurance Co. when I first started my internship it was all about calling the biggest clients and trying to bring about the most premium. As you may expect I saw very little success in those first few months and hardly made a sale.

Something had to change.

Remembering what I had learned in class I decided to change my approach. In order to truly run a successful practice I had to begin to understand what it was my clients were actually needing. When I began to ask more questions such as “What are you looking for” instead of “I think you could gain from this” I saw a dramatic change and began to make more sales.

This lesson I believe has been one of the most valuable in shaping my early sales career. Not only does it help you make the sale, but it also brings about the satisfaction that you have helped someone find what it was they were truly looking for and brought joy into their lives. I hope you will put this lesson into action and see some of the benefits as I have.

For further reading:

Know Your Customers Needs

Now, I would be interested in hearing some of the most valuable sales lessons you have learned.

image credit: http://www.emfsafetynetwork.org

 

 

 

3 Tips to Bounce Back from Rejection

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By Alex Drew

We have all heard it at one point or another in our life. It is that one dreaded word which can completely crush us. That word is simply “no.” We here it everyday and it never gets any easier. I believe how we bounce back from failure truly defines us. Being a baseball player no one is more accustomed to failing then me. Even the best professional hitters still fail 7 out of 10 times.

In professional sales we are constantly put down by the customer and it always hurts every time somebody denies our product or service. It’s no secret. We are GOING to fail at some point or another and its important to know how to properly respond to such circumstances. With each new failure comes an opportunity to grow and bounce back stronger then ever. Here are my top 3 ways for handling failure

3. Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself

It is so easy to fall into the trap of self pity and sorrow. The only person who will ever feel sorry for you is yourself. Stop bringing down others and yourself by walking around moping about a deal gone wrong or losing a client. There will always be another one! The longer you allow yourself to engage in the destructive thinking the longer it will be before you bounce back and finally get that “yes” answer we all strive for.

“Nobody will feel sorry for you but yourself”

2. Avoid Negative Thinking

Often times after we here the word “no” we immediately start filling our brains with negative and self destructive thoughts.  We let these thoughts consume us until eventually they start to become true and this can be a hard habit to break. Truly, we are our own worst enemy. After a setback or a sale gone wrong you must immediately try to eliminate these self-doubts and fill your mind with positive words such as “the next one will go better” or “I can do this.” The longer we walk around with negative thoughts filling our brains the harder it will be to move on to the next sale or opportunity.

“The longer we walk around with negative thoughts filling our brains the harder it will be to move on to the next sale or opportunity. ”

1.  Believe in yourself

Often times the most important thing you can do is believe in yourself. Looking back on past successes the one thing I see in common was that each and every time I truly believed the result was possible. Whether it was selling t-shirts or standing in the batters box in the middle of a slump I truly believed the next customer would buy or the next pitch was mine. It’s incredible what you can do when you truly believe in yourself. Let go of fear and believe with all your heart that the next sale or meeting with a client will go better and you will be amazed of the things you can achieve!

“the most important thing you can do is believe in yourself”

In conclusion, hearing the word “no” can only be a bad thing if we allow it to be. Refuse to let a simple rejection change your outlook on the next sale or yourself. I challenge you to rise to the occasion the next time you suffer a setback or rejection and turn that “no” into the fuel it will take to close that next sale and get you a step closer to reaching your goals. 

For further reading:

7 Rules to Coping with Sales Rejection

Now, I would be interested in hearing some of the things you guys do to help deal with rejection. Please leave a comment with any suggestions. Thank you 

Image credit: www.nextupasia.com