How to create the perfect team of brand representatives
April 10, 2019
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Building a company from scratch is a demanding task. It requires you to become an expert in almost every aspect of business. This includes logistics, sales, marketing, production, HR, taxation, and company law, to name but a few.
Initially, you may need to wear all those hats yourself. You can be your business’ recruiter, marketer, product manager, and brand representative at the same time.
But as your company grows, and along with it, the workload, you’ll have to hire people for specific tasks. Each business is different, and some tasks may be more important for you than others. But, sooner rather than later, a time will come when you’ll have to think about creating a team of brand representatives for your business.
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What’s a brand representative?
While their title and job description varies from business to business, brand representatives (or brand ambassadors, or sales representatives) work toward enhancing brand awareness and increasing sales.
The main goal of brand representatives is to sell their company’s products or services by building and maintaining strong customer relations. Does this sound easy? It’s not. Far from it.
In an increasingly competitive business world, they have to get through to potential clients. This alone is quite difficult, since people are busier than ever and reluctant to give up even a small portion of their time to listen to a stranger talk about a product or service they haven’t heard of.
Then they have to convince those potential clients (leads) to give the product or service a try. This is almost impossible without first creating trust. And just like time, trust is a sparse commodity in our world.
This is why only people with a specific mix of qualifications and personal qualities would make good brand representatives. But how to separate the wheat from chaff?
Qualities of a great brand representative
Very few children grow up with the ultimate dream of becoming brand representatives. But several of those would-be firefighters, princesses, and astronauts have personal skills that will make them excellent brand ambassadors.
As mentioned earlier, every business’ needs are different. Maybe you ask your brand representatives to appear at various networking events while other companies mainly need their team to make phone calls.
The bottom line is, only you know the unique qualities a brand representative needs to be able to work for your company. However, there are some general skills that most successful brand ambassadors possess. Knowing these would be a great start when interviewing candidates for your own team.
Great people skills
A brand representative’s job involves very little sitting around in a corner by themselves. In fact, brand representatives must go out of their way to be around people as much as possible.
This is why in general, extroverted, outgoing people would make better brand representatives than shy introverts. We’re not saying the opposite can’t happen, but it’s more likely that a person who’s energized by interacting with people will make a better brand representative.
However, this doesn’t mean that hiring the candidate who talks the most is the best way to success. In fact, great people skills include the ability to read the mood of the person they’re talking to and modify their behavior accordingly.
For example, imagine a lead who likes talking about their business. A great brand ambassador will find a way to let the person talk while expertly steering the conversation to how your products or services could help their business.
Similarly, great people skills include self-confidence without being overly pushy, polite yet friendly manners, a willingness to help people, and a generally positive attitude.
Passionate about your company
If your brand representative doesn’t believe in your brand, who will? Since it’s their job to spread the word about your products or services, they have to actually believe what they tell potential clients. Otherwise, they’ll cause more harm than good.
Many people can tell a faker from miles away. In a brand representative, too much enthusiasm can be just as damaging as a complete lack of enthusiasm. Your brand ambassadors must find the perfect middle ground to come across as knowledgeable, passionate, yet sincere and professional.
Willingness to learn
Whether learning everything about your products or services, a new sales software, or the perfect way to approach a certain lead, your brand representatives must be willing to learn new things on a daily basis.
Personal and professional evolvement comes with the job description. Since each client’s needs are different, a brand ambassador has to learn how your products or services could best help the client. This requires a lot of patience, research, and networking skills, not to mention a deep knowledge of both your industry and the potential client’s.
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Working as a team
Throwing a bunch of people together doesn’t make them a team. Even if you hand-picked the best candidates for your team, they won’t automatically work together perfectly like a well-oiled machine.
For brand ambassadors, working as a team means knowing each others’ strengths and weaknesses, and complementing team members’ skills as much as possible.
For example, certain leads may respond better to an assertive approach, while others prefer a more low-key manner in a brand representative. Or, approaching a certain lead may need hard-to-acquire knowledge in a specific industry.
Your brand ambassadors should know each other to the point that they’re able to transfer leads amongst themselves according to the specific needs of each potential client.
Also, while some amount of healthy competition can increase a team’s performance, this must not get to a level where individual team members would feel threatened in any way.
Frequent team building is essential to create and maintain a stellar team of brand representatives. Don’t consider this a waste of time and resources: in fact, if you forego team building, your organizational culture, and your whole business’ performance will suffer.
Building a first-rate team of brand representatives is harder than it looks. However, if you’re not satisfied with mediocre performance and lacklustre sales, investing your time and energy into this task is definitely worth the effort.