The February edition of the Sales Jaw-Jaw, an innovation of Austusbridge Consulting Limited, held on Friday, the 12th of February, 2021 on Zoom.

The event, which has the objective to create an engagement platform and a community of salespeople who desire to boost their professionalism and their capacity to consistently deliver on their goals and objectives, had Mrs Oyindamola Soyinka,

Sales Consultant, Sales Wheels Africa; Mr Bunmi Jembola, CEO, Salesruby; and Mr  Gbenga Johnson, CEO, Austusbridge Consulting Ltd, Nigeria as the panellists.

The Sales Jaw-Jaw event started in 2019 as an offline meet-up in 2019 at the Autusbridge office at No 10 Wilmer Street, off Town-Planning Way, Ilupeju, Lagos, but has become an online event because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Interestingly, it now attracts more participants from across Nigeria and beyond.

During the February webinar, the panellists dealt with the theme, “How to Drive Sales Excellence through Personal Branding”, and responded to numerous questions from participants.

Mrs Soyinka, while speaking on the topic, noted that a sales job is all about energy and anyone who wants to go into the practice must have inbuilt energy to be able to make sales.

“If you don’t have the inbuilt energy, you cannot sell. If you are not happy with your product, you can’t sell,” she noted.

Sharing her journey into sales, the Sales consultant stated that Self-awareness is important in starting the journey of personal branding.

She said, “Your brand is who you are. Once you have something you are passionate about and you have a message, then you design your personal brand. As a salesperson, the sun will beat you by day so you have to find a way to look good even under the scorching sun, and still sell your product. So personal branding, in a nutshell, is all about being you.”

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Addressing the effect of beautiful faces in branding, Soyinka has this to say, “A fine face can open the door but will not close the deal. If you don’t have the requisite knowledge, consistency in delivery, customer manners and other elements, you will still be a bad sales rep.”

She further admonished that self-confidence is key for a salesperson. This, she said, is a result of the perfect understanding of the sphere one operates in.

“Once you know what you are selling, you will be self-confident. Also, believe in yourself. Nobody knows it all. Just believe in yourself and seek knowledge, you will see that your level of self-confidence increases,” she urged.

Mr Jembola, while corroborating Mrs Soyinka, said that branding is the person because it reveals their personal philosophies, goals and messages.

According to him, “It answers the question, who are you?”

He further enumerated the two ways of selling which are, the hard way and the soft way. According to him, the hard way is working hard to get a product sold by going to meet customers wherever they are, while soft selling is to close the sale by making it easy for customers to come to you to buy.

“Branding is about positioning and soft selling. It is engineering the other guys to come to you rather than you going after them. That’s why personal branding is about you,” he said.

Also sharing his journey of creating his brand, the CEO of Salesruby noted that logo and colour are brand elements and not branding itself.

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“The real branding is the emotion you want to drive into the minds of people when they encounter your brand. The beauty of personal branding is that it brings other opportunities your way,” he noted.

Mr Jembola also mentioned psychosocial inclinations, the intended message to be passed across to the public, and the problems intended to solve as the elements and the key areas to focus on when developing a personal brand. These, according to him, are the basis for choosing a channel for reaching out and building a brand.

He further stated that evolving a brand includes a good dress sense, one’s social media positioning, and knowledge. These, he said, are the most important tools for positioning.

“If you want to differentiate yourself in a sphere, you must have a vast knowledge of that sphere,” he noted.

The host of the webinar, Mr Gbenga Johnson, while also speaking on the purpose of the webinar, said that the Sales Jaw-Jaw has become distinguished as a co-learning community where free mentoring and coaching opportunities abound for aspiring young people and also a melting pot of ideas for established professionals.

While also speaking on the topic, he noted that personal branding goes beyond being a celebrity or an influencer.

In his words, “The purpose of this meeting is to be intentional in the images you create in the minds of people. Branding is intentional. So as a salesperson, you need to be conscious of what you want people to see, hear and know about you.”

He further described personal branding as being intentional in creating a mind-set in the hearts of the public who are your customers.

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“Everyone represents something and that is your brand. Whether you like it or not, you create branding for yourself. Personal branding is self-promotion or self-packaging,” he noted.

According to Mr Gbenga, personal branding is expensive, not in financial capacity, but sacrifices, knowledge and integrity.

“Your customers must be able to see you as a solution provider. The reason you are selling must not overshadow the reason your customer is buying,” he said.

At the end of the session, the panellists urged all participants to be deliberate in their personal branding efforts; have a consistent message; develop self-awareness and a strategy to excel. “Be consistent with what you are putting out, know who you are; get yourself a strategy and excel.”