Most people equate public relations (PR) with celebrities, government campaigns, sports stars or the CEO of their organisation. PR conjures up images of camera crews, photographers and journalists all chasing the next big story. However, PR is more than media relations; it’s about effective communications and how we engage with our audiences. For those who need to sell in their roles, this is a core skill. Here are three simple PR tactics you can implement today to help boost your sales efforts.
1. Is your online reputation up to scratch?
Our prospects, clients, partners and new contacts all make assumptions based on our online profiles. Decisions are made based on what we share with the world. I recommend you regularly review your own online profile. How’s your profile looking? If you Google yourself, what are the results? If you’re on LinkedIn, take some time to request recommendations, connect with everyone you meet and use LinkedIn to really engage with people. Don’t send blanket invitations without personal notes…ever. Look at what messages you are sending on Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook. Check your privacy settings and make sure the information you send to the world is clearly positioning you in the best light with your key skills front and centre. These days our online profile is our CV and it needs to be constantly up to scratch.
2. Ring people and have a laugh
In the business world we often forget to laugh. In his book “Success takes character”, Neil Jenman states:
“Successful people enjoy a good laugh. They love to have fun. They love to tell funny stories…
Face-to-face communication or at least verbal communication bonds us in a way that email simply doesn’t. The more you can talk to people, the better your connections, results and your reputation. It’s not just about closing a sale. Make a phone call each day simply to “check-in” with someone and genuinely see how he or she is going or to share an idea or connect him or her with someone you know they will benefit from knowing. They will remember the gesture and it all goes toward building a memorable and positive reputation.
Neil Jenman also says that if you’re not having several hearty laughs each day, many of them at your own expense, you’re probably not much of a success.
“A child laughs an average of 400 times per day. By the time they are adults, those formally happy children are now laughing a mere 15 times per day. How tragic.” – Neil Jenman
3. Meet new people, make new friends
I am not talking about swapping business cards and going out to “network”. I’m talking about simply meeting new people. Whether it is during work hours or at a social gathering on a Saturday night. Each time you meet someone new is an opportunity to leave an impression. It may result in a sale or a partnership. You may share creative ideas or learn something new. You never know when that quick business card swap could be something more. Have a conversation with new people. Ask questions and if you can help them with something, help them! Share your contacts and ideas, it will result in an opportunity down the track and again you’ve been helpful – they’ll remember you and probably recommend you.