Inbound Sales Tips: Showcase Your Personal Expertise Online

tips for inbound sales peopleSalespeople should build their expertise publicly, in order to command respect and trust from prospects – more quickly and more easily.

I recently spoke with the sales team in a $20M organization, and they were passionate about the services their company offered. I mean they were REALLY passionate about them! As we talked further, it became apparent that they were also very knowledgeable about each of the services their company offers and how those services could benefit client companies.

Then I asked, “Where do you share your expertise, besides on the phone with prospects?”

Where do you share your expertise?

There was dead silence. Finally someone asked “What do you mean? Like what?”

We got into a discussion about blogging and social media. Once they understood what I was talking about, they each wanted to get started right away.

Salespeople should build their expertise publicly, in order to command respect and trust from prospects – more easily and more quickly. ~Peter Caputa, HubSpot

Back in the day, sales people depended on their rolodex. In this digital age, the great salesperson’s rolodex is their personal web presence. Here are some inbound sales tips to help you build and leverage your personal web presence.

You and every member of your sales team should each have a blog.

I recommend everyone have their own blog, so that each person can share their “voice” in their own way. Your blog posts should address the questions that you always get asked, new ideas you have, customer stories, how-to articles about new products or services, etc. These posts don’t need to be lengthy, but should be done regularly.

When I first started blogging in September 2011, it was really hard. I didn’t consider myself a writer, and was unsure of what to talk about. On October 1st of that year, I set myself the task of blogging every day — 5 days a week — for three months, and I asked all my friends to support me in that commitment.

And in 13 weeks, I produced 65 blog posts. Some were thoughtful, some were just “thrown up there,’ but I’d done it. In the process I discovered my “voice” and have honed it over the intervening years.

Let me share a secret

I’ll share my secret here of how to write effectively for all salespeople, no matter what you sell. Pretend you and I are sitting outside a nice coffeeshop on a lovely late spring day, and you’re telling me about what you do. You’re excited, animated, and definitely understand your products/services. The conversation is relaxed, but you really want me to understand what you do and how you feel it makes a difference.

Thank’s exactly how to “talk” in your blog!

[How am I doing? Are you engaged with what I’m saying? Are you formulating questions in your mind, just as you would if we were having coffee together? Good!!]

How to start your blog

We’ve built over 200 blogs for people over the years — let me tell you how to start a simple blog for free.

First, do NOT go to the IT folks! You do not want your blog tied to your company website (unless you own the company) since you might move to a different opportunity in the future. Your blog needs to stand on its own.

Go to WordPress.com and open a free account. Pick a theme that you like, and follow their easy instructions to get started with your first blog post. Don’t spend a lot of time on design, but make sure your photo is featured prominently on the home page. Also, on the home page add a few sentences about yourself, and let the visitor know what topics you’ll be writing about.

Here’s an example from Joshua Becker’s blog:

BecomingMinimalist.com home pageHere is a non-minimalist example from my friend, David Weinhaus:

DavidWeinhaus.com home page

Keep it simple at first; the idea is to get started with regular blogging! You can always change your theme and colors, or add additional features like David has.

Who’s going to find my blog??

You’re right! Everyone else already has a personal blog — or at least it seems that way. That’s fine. You’re in good company.

Notice on David’s blog he has social sharing icons under the title of each blog post (see image above). These social sharing buttons let visitors share your content on their social networks. You can even use them to share your own content on your social networks.

How about this: you and two of your sales colleagues agree to start blogs, work together to come up with topics, and then agree to share each other’s posts on your own social media. Imagine scaling this to your entire sales department!

Social media will bring in readers, and your visitors will appreciate the information you’re providing.

But your blog efforts are not about getting found!

The real reason you’re blogging is to share your expert knowledge and demonstrate your professionalism. So when you’re on the phone with a prospect, you can say, “Yes, I can steer you to more information on that. I just wrote about it on my blog! Let me send you the link.”

Another smart thing to do with your blog content is to share it on LinkedIn. Make sure your professional profile on LinkedIn is complete first: check out the blog here or the infographic here. Then every time you publish, go ahead and share that post on LinkedIn.

Now you’re reaching an ever-wider audience with your content. 🙂

Takeaways

As a sales person, you’d be smart to showcase your expertise and professionalism publicly, in order to become a trusted authority for your prospects. You can easily setup a free personal blog and social media to do this.

Regular, consistent blogging is important. Don’t worry about length or fancy formatting. Just write like you would speak if you were having coffee with your prospect. And as you talk with your prospects and customers, be looking for topics you can blog about in the future. Start a list of these, and you’ll find you never run out of things to talk about on your blog.

If you have questions about blogging or anything related to this article, feel free to message me on LinkedIn. I’d be happy to help!

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About Larry Levenson

Larry is passionate about inbound marketing and is a HubSpot Certified Trainer. He's learned the "secrets" of leveraging HubSpot to make marketing hyper-effective and customizes that information to help our clients meet their goals. Larry lives in Prescott, AZ, and when not at work, he is hiking or hanging out with teenagers as a volunteer with Boys to Men USA.