Professionals dedicate themselves to their careers and their companies. Amateurs are casual about their careers and often blind to advancement opportunities. Professionals also make more money.
In selling situations and in life, how you present yourself plays a big role in how people think of you and how much attention people pay to what you say. A dedicated professional commands more respect than a casual amateur does. Always.
How can you acquire professional presence? Take these 10 steps:
- Start with your attitude. Are you a professional? If so, why not let everyone know it. If not, maybe that is why you are not as successful as you would like to be. What adjustment in attitude do you need to make?
- Enhance your personal appearance. Are you really satisfied with your appearance? Grooming is important, good clothing is necessary, and how about your health? Shape up your body and it will shape up your attitude.
- Boost your business appearance. Your customers and clients relate financial success with competence. Does your car communicate financial success? How about your briefcase? Your organizer or planner? Do you appear to be well organized or stuffed to the gills with miscellany?
- Earn the confidence of others with your organization skills. Customers relate being organized to being competent. Organization is recognized as being on time, having a neat desk, being ready with the answers, and diligently following up on what you promised to deliver. All these things tell your people that you are a person worthy of their confidence and the confidence of their friends.
- Talk like a pro from the prospect’s point of view. Avoid slang and industry shoptalk. Some people think that using all kinds of fancy terms means that they are experts. A real expert can explain a complex, technological process in plain English. So ask questions. Choose your words carefully. Moreover, plan your presentation from the prospect’s point of view.
- Stay in tune. Every profession is changing, but none more than sales and marketing. Pushy, obnoxious salespeople are gone, along with the less competent. People demand excellence from sales and service people, and reward that excellence with referral after referral. Devote a regular part of your week to learning new skills and sharpening existing ones.
- Respect your fellow team members and salespeople. They have the same challenges as you do. They deserve the same credit and recognition when successful, the same help and encouragement when faltering. Everyone wins when the team gets stronger.
- Remember your family and friends. They want a high quality relationship, too. Plan time for family and social needs. This will assure you of their understanding and support when business takes you away evenings and weekends.
- See the people. There are thousands of people in your area who need and deserve the professional services and products that you provide. Make them aware of what you do. Be vocal about your abilities and qualifications. If you do not take it to them, they may be shortchanged by someone who is not as good as you are.
- Integrity keeps you there. Nearly every day an opportunity arises to take unfair advantage of someone. Stretching the truth, selling without the facts, omitting information, and avoiding present challenges by stalling or blaming someone else is not professional behavior.
It is important to look at the effect professional presence has on you and others. If you are not sure about how you come across to others, request feedback from people you trust and admire. Ask for feedback from people who will tell you the truth and give you insights into how you can improve your professional presence.