How do you build a brand?
A few years ago I sat in the audience at a Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism. The keynote speaker was Tim Sanders and I was captivated by his presentation. Tim was the former chief solutions officer at Yahoo! and shared his simple belief in successful brand building.
Tim had just released his book, Love is the Killer App, and introduced all of us to his concept of being a Lovecat – a nice, smart person who succeeds in business and in life. How? By freely sharing your intangibles. Tim defined these as your knowledge, your network, and your compassion.
Of course I took copious notes and if you know me at all you know I also peppered my notes with sketches and caricatures of Tim up on stage. One of those drawings made its way to my doodles blog and somehow Tim found it and got in touch with me.
Rather than complaining about how silly I made him look, Tim asked if he could buy the artwork. We agreed that I would redo the drawing for him in pen and ink and in return Tim would make a generous contribution to a charity of his choice.
We’ve been in touch ever since.
Last week I received a parcel in the mail and it was a copy of Tim’s latest book, Dealstorming – The Secret Weapon That Can Solve Your Toughest Sales Challenges. It was a lovely gift and the first of Tim’s five books that I didn’t have to rush out and buy for myself. If that wasn’t enough, besides signing my copy, Tim even took the time to stick Post-It Notes on the pages he thought I’d find most interesting. (Note to my marketing, advertising, and designer readers: this means there’s insights in the book for you, too.)
How do you build a brand? Here’s the gist of Tim’s book:
Dealstorming is a scalable, repeatable process that any B2B sales team can use to encourage a breakthrough on a tough sale. Tim’s plan suggests including every person who has a stake in the sale, questioning existing assumptions, and channeling the collective experience of the group, to uncover creative solutions and achieve a stunning 70% close ratio. Good stuff.
But besides the fact that I like Tim and I like the way he writes, what I really like about Tim’s new release is that Dealstorming is a How-To book, not just a Why-To book.
Scan the business shelf of your local bookstore and you’ll find that many business books have been created specifically to generate consulting opportunities. Their back covers and flyleaves are peppered with clever phrases to support the authors’ theories but as you read deeper you quickly realize that the writers are loathe to actually show you how to do what they say. Instead they only make the case for why you should do it. You’ve got to pay more for the how. Usually a lot more.
Of course Tim is a very successful keynote speaker and a sought-after consultant. But in his book Tim walks his walk and generously shares his knowledge. Dealstorming diagrams a surprisingly simple and practical seven-step system that will change the way you approach sales and the way you manage your sales team. What’s more, Tim manages to avoid the typical sales terms that always make me feel icky — formula suggestions that include techniques such as “accentuating the pain,” “ripping off the bandage,” and the like.
I’ve written a lot of blog posts with the title “how do you build a brand”? And to that end we’ve discussed the importance of knowing, promoting, and conforming to your authentic truth. Tim Sanders – and the books he writes – are not only great instructional manuals for business and sales but also tangible proof of effective management of authentic truth.