Category Archives: Branding

Confidence Sells the Package!

Guest post by Jean Wright

My career has taught me that everything we do in life involves marketing. From the moment we step outside our front door, we are a package, presenting ourselves to the world with what we wear and what we say. What we do with that package, will determine our success.

Dressing professionally makes a first impression even before you say a word. The type of business we represent determines the dress code. If you’re getting back into the workforce after being home with the kids, be up to date with fashion trends and don’t wear that favorite jacket you saved from the mid 2000’s. Look like you live in current times. Even if you are on a virtual call, professional attire is still important, at least from the waist up.

A first impression sells the package. I’ve been in a room when a woman or man stands up in professional looking attire and then introduces themself and their business with little eye contact and in a subdued voice without enthusiasm. What a disappointment!

If you want to sell your product, tell the room about it, as if you were talking excitedly to your best friend. It’s apparent when someone has little confidence when they don’t speak up or fail to make eye contact with the audience. If you’re not selling yourself, then you’re not showing confidence in what you have to offer.

This is also the moment when trust is built. I tend to trust people who make eye contact with me. When someone introduces themself, presenting their entire package – they should make eye contact, dress the part, and speak confidently. That’s when trust is formed and doing business together will follow.

How can we be more confident when presenting ourselves as a package?  When I was growing up, I felt self-conscious about my height. In school, I was always in the last row with the tallest boy for class pictures. I felt relegated to sit in the back of the classroom because I feared no one could see over my head. When I should have felt confident about myself as someone who stood out, I didn’t feel worthy of that attention.

I had to learn that my total package not only included my tall appearance but a personality to go with it.  It took time for me to feel comfortable when making an entrance. I had to learn how to be remembered for who I was and not just because I towered over the crowd.

Preparation is Key

The feeling of being in command of a room just because I was tall, eventually forced me feel to more comfortable when speaking in front of people. When you’re the center of attention, you better have something memorable to say. But, if you’re not prepared, confidence will be lost and then you may lose the sale or that connection.

To ensure I had my act together, I joined Toastmasters – an international organization that teaches public speaking skills. I did feel confident of my ability to talk in front of an audience, but I didn’t know if I was doing it correctly. So, I joined the local chapter and delivered speeches at their monthly 7:30am meetings. Being “on” at that hour of the morning was a challenge.  I found that memorizing and making speeches involved a lot of practice and caffeine.

I really wanted to speak in a professional manner without a script but trying to memorize my notes really tested my confidence. If I didn’t rehearse enough, I might lose my way and start scrambling for words. I could either crumble and fold or gather my inner strength and confidently finish my speech.

After delivering our speeches, the members’ critiques would help us hone our speaking skills.  We learned how to use voice inflection, create visual pictures, inject humor, gestures, and tell stories. In other words, techniques that kept the audience glued to the speaker’s every word. These techniques became part of my “package.”

In some situations, you don’t even realize how presenting your “package” can affect someone else. I served as president of our community’s social organization and a new resident had been skeptical about joining. Our development was set in a rural area – completely opposite from the suburban Philadelphia neighborhood this woman moved from. She told me a story about her husband, who, while showing her around our town, drove past the Farm and Feed Store.  She said she broke down in tears fearing they had moved to Green Acres.

After attending the meeting and hearing my presentation about our organization, she confessed that because I was professionally dressed and spoke well, she knew that she would feel comfortable with our group. She felt reassured that I represented a community she would fit into, like her previous neighborhood.  I presented the package that she could relate to and sold her on joining the club. To this day, she still recounts her first impression of me and how her membership has provided her lifelong friends.

Build Confidence and Be Yourself

Other women I’ve known have used their attitude and image as confidence builders. A business coach told me that wearing high heels makes her feel empowered when delivering her message to the audience. It was amazing to learn that something so simple like how she felt in those shoes built her confidence. In a different way, the female CEO of a local organization told me that she sings a rock anthem in her car before addressing a crowd. It is her way to prepare to be more confident when delivering a speech.

Over time, I’ve learned to prepare well and be myself when speaking to groups so that my confidence stays intact. Then, I have the audience in the palm of my hand thanks to my preparation, delivery, and professional appearance. Voila! I’ve sold the package. And that’s what it’s all about – being comfortable presenting yourself in a professional way, both visually and verbally, brings confidence to just about everything you do.

Jean Wright is a successful saleswoman and author. An excerpt from her upcoming book   Selling Confidence was recently published in Entrepreneur magazine.   [email protected]


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Have you tackled your 2019 marketing plan?

Marketing planLike writing a business plan, creating a comprehensive marketing plan can seem like a big, hairy project that takes forever to accomplish.  But if you break it down into steps, and have your team in on the creative process, you can easily get it done!

Remember, it doesn’t need to be finely honed prose.  Just get everything down on paper in an easy-to-read format!

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Tuning Up Your Sales Techniques for 2019

Guest Post by Jean Wright                                                                                       

Jean Wright

Jean Wright

It’s a new year and time to turn those promises made by prospects last year into sales for this year.  It’s also a time to make new contacts and nurture your relationships early on to give the momentum you need to carry you through the year.

Turn a “Put-off” into a Sale

You’re on the sales call, make the presentation, ask for the sale and overcome objections.  As happens from time to time, no matter how well prepared you are, before the close the client puts off or delays the decision.  Some of the best put-offs are heard toward the end of the year.

A put-off by a prospect could be something like “I’m too busy right now, call business presentationme in a few months” or “Call me in 3 months when I begin making my budget plans for next year.”  Most companies will have made those budget preparations before the end of the year, but some may be on a different schedule so you may still have an opportunity.

No matter what time of year it is, listen to those cues and make a note of them on your calendar.  Any put-offs like these require you to determine a future date that is mutually agreed upon to reconnect.  Make that call and help them get re-acquainted with your product or establish a meeting time to talk things over.

A number of developments may have occurred since you last spoke, i.e. there may be a new decision maker at the company; your contact may have left the company; the company may be expanding and now there is a fresh opportunity for a sale.

A put-off isn’t always the end of the road.  Things can change in a very short time, and if you follow up as planned, you may still get the deal after all.  Sometimes your prospect can’t reveal the reason for the delay because something is happening internally at the company.  Later, when you re-connect and their plans are revealed, the outcome may be in your favor and you’ll get the sale.  Persistence pays off.

Network Like a Pro!

networkingThe best compliment you can receive about being “known” for what you do is when someone seeks you out at a networking event and says “I was told I had to meet you.”  People want to find connections either for their own personal gain, or because they have been looking for your product or service and heard that you can help them.   That instantly identifies you as an expert on something: An expert connector, an expert in the field you represent, or someone that other people look up to.

A new year brings many new opportunities. People set new goals and are enthusiastic about the year ahead.  As you plan your networking, aim to attending a variety of networking events that will expose you to different people.  Select quality over quantity.  Get to know the right people, not the most people.  After the event, follow up the next day.  Set up meetings to continue the conversations.  If your follow-up doesn’t lead to a sale, ask for a referral.  They likely know someone who needs your services!

Fill Your Funnel 

If you are following up on those promises from put-offs, and attending at least one networking event a week, you are filling your funnel for future business.  As it fills, sort through the leads you’ve collected and determine which are worth pursuing and which are a waste of time. 

Strive to build relationships with people who are connectors and can help you be more successful.  This leads to building a solid reputation for yourself so you can earn their trust.  Recognition as a trusted sales professional should be your goal.

About Jean Wright:

Jean has been working in sales and marketing positions for most of her career. She has a degree in Communication Arts from Marywood University.

Since moving to Frederick in 1993, Jean has worked as a local sales director for a national  home-based business company, as development director for a private school; sold memberships to local businesses for the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce; was employed as a local general manager for a global company; and is currently an account executive at Frederick Magazine.

While general manager at Regus, Frederick, she achieved 3rd and 4th quarter business center “Top 5% Global Customer Service” satisfaction ratings.

As a Chamber Membership Representative, Jean was ranked in the top 15 nationally by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives national sales program for sales dollars and memberships sold.

Jean is also a Leadership Frederick County Class of 2013 graduate, president of the The Women’s Business Network of Frederick, and a member of the committee of The Community Foundation of Frederick County. She is a contributing member of The Spring Ridge Friends and Neighbors Club, which she founded 25 years ago.

Jean is currently working on her first book about her career in sales.

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