If you’re a sales rep, you must have an electronic alter-ego, an E-Rep. If you need more convincing, use this blog’s search function to read a bit more about the concept. If you’ve seen the light, but aren’t sure how to get started, you’ve come to the right place.
1) Understand The Basic Components of An E-Rep:
- Blog – (“blog” the noun) If your company won’t or “can’t get around to” hosting a blog for you, the simplest thing to do is go to WordPress.com. Click “Sign Up Now” and you’re off.
- LinkedIn –
- Expend some effort in creating a compelling profile. It is, in fact, your new First Impression. A lame LinkedIn profile is equivalent to going to the first meeting with a decision maker wearing torn jeans and a T-shirt.
- Search for, find and join relevant groups
- Go through your Outlook or whatever address book contact by contact and invite people to connect to you
- Focus on connecting to customers and prospects
- Customize your invitations. Using the default wording makes you look like a no-imagination stiff.
- Create a feed so your blog gets re-posted to LinkedIn
- Twitter – Go there. Dive in. Do it. Now! It doesn’t matter that you don’t “get” it yet. You will.
2) Learn By Lurking
- RSS Reader – Shame on you if you don’t have an RSS reader set up to automatically feed relevant information to your brain. Read more here and/or go to Google Reader to set one up for yourself.
- Google Alerts – Go here and set up alerts for when anybody, anywhere posts something on the web regarding selected people and companies. Stay abreast of what’s being said about your own company, your key customers, your decision makers, key decision influencers…
- TweetDeck – After you’ve signed up on Twitter, started following some folks and over time tuning who you follow, TweetDeck is a great tool. Go here, download it and start using it to filter the flood from Twitter
3) Establish Your Credibility
- Re-Tweet – When you read something you like, particularly something that would provide value to your customers and prospects, re-tweet it. Tweet others as you would like to be tweeted by them.
- Comment – And don’t just say, “Great post!” Add something to the discussion. Use your knowledge and intellect to expand, extend and apply the main content.
- Blog – (this time it’s “blog” the verb) Two or three times a week, blog about what you talk about. It’s that simple. Provide information and insight of value to your customers and prospects. In other words, don’t tell me you can’t think of anything to blog about. Do you walk into customers’ offices and have nothing to say?
- What if I post and nobody reads it? – Get over it. It’ll take you six months to get established. (Which, by the way will put you 6 months ahead of your hapless competitors who couldn’t be bothered.)
- Measure – Use Alexa and Google Analytics to track your site’s popularity
- Invest – 30-60 minutes per day bringing your E-Rep up to speed. After that, he/she/it will be on duty 24 X 7 X 365 helping you establish & develop relationships, build your credibility and sell more.
There’s a lot more to learn, but it can wait. Get this much done. Get it done now. E-Rep is WAY too powerful a tool to live without for one more day.