Ramon Ray shares with Rylee Meeks an inspired talk about the biggest challenge in selling, how to succeed in it, and how personal branding can open doors others don’t even see.
Personal branding is near and dear to Ramon Ray’s heart. After all, he says it opens a lot of doors for his business.
But Ramon tells Rylee Meek on The Sales Conversion Podcast that he doesn’t have a client that he coaches about personal branding. Personal branding is actually his journey.
And he is now willing to share the lessons he has picked up on that journey to anyone who will listen.
“My bread and butter is working only with large brands to develop content for them,” Ramon tells Rylee. “I just wrote a book to show people how I do it.”
Ramon says that he gets to work with the Dells and Microsofts of the world on big campaigns because of his reputation – his personal brand.
“If you’re a large company selling to small businesses, you know my name. That’s how I built my brand because I produce so much content that’s laser-focused for small businesses,” he says.
Ramon also explains that this is one of the main ideas in his latest book. Becoming a celebrity CEO can be achieved by gaining a reputation in a particular geographical area or a particular area of expertise.
The Biggest Challenge
Rylee says the importance of personal branding reminds him of something he always says in his podcast, which is, “If you built it, they do not come.”
“You can have the greatest product, the greatest service in the world, but if you do not have a system or a way to get it out there to reach the masses, you’re not doing yourself or anybody any favors with that,” he shares.
And why isn’t anyone coming? Ramon says that you have to spread the word. Get attention, educate to a sale, get repeat clients, and do it all over again.
How to Succeed in Sales
Asked how he keeps up-to-date with the latest in marketing and sales, Ramon tells Rylee that he reads a lot. He also consumes a lot of podcasts, he says.
Ramon says that it’s all about getting to know you and your area of expertise since it’s a specialty after all.
Given that staying up-to-date may entail a lot of work, Ramon also explains that a key to success in sales is actually being a good listener.
“If God gave you that talent to be a good listener, really care about people, you’re on your way to be pretty good with sales even without learning formal stuff,” he says.
Formal courses just make you better at selling, but really taking the time to listen to people is the first step, he adds.
Rylee says that people now see right through the old tactics of selling since they’re educated enough to know that it’s a façade.
"A key to success in sales is actually being a good listener...Formal courses just make you better at selling, but really taking the time to listen to people is the first step."
“To become what we call an intentional influencer, a key component of that is actively listening to people. Not constantly thinking about what you’re going to say next but truly creating an environment where they feel comfortable.
Rylee says that in any sales environment, people don’t want to be sold but everyone wants to buy.
“You can make that environment, where it’s comfortable, where ultimately they just like and trust you. If they know you, they like you, [and] they trust you, asking for the sale is easy at that point. They don’t feel like they were sold, they feel like they made…a wise decision to buy versus feeling sold,” Rylee explains.
Having brands that trust him is exactly one of the keys to his success, Ramon tells Rylee. Even if he has a very narrow niche, he gets a few big checks a year even if he doesn’t sell thousands of products.
“I just have a very narrow set of clients: these larger brands,” he says. “They all know me. They all like me. They all trust me.”
Of course, he has a larger community of small business of owners that number in the thousands, but the money is coming just from a few clients that are watching him serve their ideal customers.
He’s creating value for his community. Clients invest in him because they love the value he creates for the community, Rylee says.
The status this has generated for Ramon also allows him to get a leg up on competitors, who may be starting with getting themselves known first to potential clients.
For Ramon, clients already know him.
That’s why when he comes with a pitch, he doesn’t start with introducing himself – he can get straight to discussing what he brings to the table with a certain idea. That’s one less barrier to hurdle.
Creating a Personal Brand
There are two ways to create your brand and sell, Ramon says. One is to mass market a product. Sell to thousands by using advertising.
The other way is to begin by building a community through serving.
“It takes time. This is not a get-rich-quick thing,” Ramon says. “This is more about getting out there every day and using the tools all around us.”
Share not just your image but share something of value to your community, Ramon adds.
Asked what platform is best, Ramon says that it’s the platform your audience members frequent. If they’re on LinkedIn, be on LinkedIn. If they’re on TikTok, make sure to have a presence on TikTok.
You may have to experiment a bit on what content to post, but the key is to consistently produce content that’s of value to your audience, Ramon explains.
"Two ways to create your brand and sell is to mass market a product. Sell to thousands by using advertising. The other is to build a community through serving."
The Importance of a Model
Rylee tells Ramon that he thinks his group acts more like hunters rather than farmers.
“It’s kind of like we’re going in, we’re hunting the prey, we skin it, we clean it, we cook it, we eat it, then move on to the next territory with no branding,” he says.
In contrast, a farmer plants seeds knowing that someday, there’s going to be a harvest.
Ramon says that that’s what he loves about opportunities, which he says are everywhere. There are a lot of ways to make money, he says.
What leaders can do, however, is to learn from each other. Hunters can try and cultivate their own communities and build their brand, while farmers can learn to conduct their own events and move to where their communities are, he explains.
It also pays to have a model to success, Rylee adds.
“It’s so important to find somebody successful to model. Even though you’re providing content, value, but you don’t have cash flow, that’s scary,” he warns.
It’s also important to find a mentor and discover what works instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, he says.
It’s so important to find somebody successful to model. Even though you’re providing content, value, but you don’t have cash flow, that’s scary
“That is so true. As small business owners, we don’t know what we don’t know,” Ramon says.
Business owners can be really good at making their product, but sales is a discipline, he says.
Sales has two parts. One is technical and involves the systems and processes used. You can hire people to help do this aspect, he says.
The more important facet, however, is mindset. Without it, things will not work out.
You can hear Ramon’s and Rylee’s full talk on The Sales Conversion Podcast.
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