Prime the pump
August 30, 2022
What is your brand identity and what are you known for?

“We are all in the business of sales. Teachers sell students on learning, parents sell their children on making good grades and behaving, and traditional salesmen sell their products,” Dave Ramsey.

In a broader sense we are all selling all the time. You may persuade a sales clerk at a cash counter not to verify your identity, not by what you say but by how you present yourself. Or you may be able to convince someone who has never heard of you to hire you because of the confidence and professionalism you exude.

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “What is my brand identity and what do I want to be known for?” Every person has a brand, whether they realize it or not. And, if you aren’t actively working to improve your brand, you are actively working to affect it.

A personal brand isn’t how you see yourself. It is the way you market yourself to the world. It is people’s first impression of you and how you are remembered. Your brand is who you are as a person.

Whether you are an executive, a sole trader, a cobbler, or a tradesman, you convey your brand through various channels, including your social media platforms, the way you communicate – verbal and or written, your dress, walk, how you interact with people and the quality of the service or product you provide.

Recently, I had the opportunity to refer/introduce a tradesman to a consultant, albeit the man was not forewarned of the meeting. Someone referred him to me, and I trusted that person enough to refer him to the consultant.

When I beheld the tradesman, I thought to myself, this is not good. I immediately thought of the power of someone’s personal brand and how much easier it would have been to convince the consultant that the gentleman was worth considering.

Almost daily I interact with people who are looking for an opportunity to prove themselves. For some, it doesn’t matter how convincing they are in their vocal expressions, my reluctance remains because other elements of their brand do not support their claim.

I recall some years ago a CEO invited me to have dialogue. The business had fallen on hard times and he wanted to explore the possibility of us partnering to give them some much needed support.

I showed up for the meeting half an hour before the scheduled time. However, an hour and thirty minutes later was when the meeting got started. By that time, I had already concluded why the business was in the state that it was in and furthermore recognized that it was not a relationship that I could reasonably benefit from.

Punctuality, or the lack thereof affects people’s personal branding. It is not all right not to be punctual. Punctuality can make or break your schedule and that of people who you do business with.

Donnie Biovin of Champion Success Networking, Former US Marine said in an article titled, “Why punctuality is important for Business,”: “I’m a former United States Marine… So we literally have punctuality beaten into our heads. In the Marine Corps, they tell you that if you’re 15 minutes early, you’re late. Not being punctual can be stressful. And when it becomes a habit and you start making excuses for it, then you’ve taken it to a whole new level of disrespect.”

When you are late, you are basically communicating to the person waiting that you do not value their time. If you are serious about building your personal brand, you need to consider the words of Mary Kay Ash: “Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”