The Sue and Barry Story [VIDEO]

John Smibert

Sue and Barry Story

A story of personal development, personal branding and sales success.

We are all accountable for our future career - not our employer.

We need to take charge of our own development and our own personal brand.

This video is a story about how one salesperson, Sue, did this - and how she achieved outstanding results and career progression.


Here's a success story - a story about a salesperson who built a strong personal brand.

Three years ago a business - that will remain nameless for obvious reasons -  hired Sue and Barry as salespeople in one of their state branches,.

Sue and Barry started with similar skills and experience. Over these last three years each was quite successful however their career outcomes have been quite different.

First, Barry's Story:

Barry relied on discussions with his sales manager and HR to help him plan his personal development and career.

He would undertake whatever training the company offered. Most of that turned out to be product related with limited skills development.

Barry also relied on the company's systems and processes.

The systems were good cloud based applications - such as CRM - plus good lead generation and selling tools.

The only external system not provided by the company that Barry used was LinkedIn - and that was purely to maintain his resume - and connect with his past and present colleagues.

Next, Sue's Story:

Sue did much the same as Barry but with one big difference.  She leveraged considerable external resources to develop her capabilities and build influence.

Sue sought out and attended conferences, seminars and webinars

- some relevant to sales -  but more importantly those relevant to her customers and their business and the industry in which they operated.

She identified some external on-line sales training that was ideal for developing her selling skills.

She subscribed to the blogs of some key sales masterminds, soaking up much of the modern thinking about selling methods and skills and regularly tested them with her own customers.

In addition to the systems that her employee provided she subscribed and actively used a number of external tablet based sales apps plus cloud based systems such as LinkedIn,  DropBox and Google Apps.

She used theses apps to help her engage with her customers more effectively and to maintain data and content that was of value to her - such as her customer and industry contacts, customer information, knowledge and insight.

She used LinkedIn to position herself as a having an understanding of her customers industry and their business drivers.

She wrote thought provoking articles on LinkedIn about how her customers had solved their business problems and embraced new growth opportunities.

She actively connected with customers and their industry thought leaders.

She joined groups and forums that were relevant to her customers and was seen to regularly comment providing valuable thoughts and insights.

She even established her own blog and twitter account dedicated to business.

In doing so she developed a strong reputation in her field and a strong following.

The Outcome:

Sue substantially exceeded her numbers.

After three years she was head hunted by a leading provider in her industry. She accepted a very senior sales position with an excellent package.

In the new role she was able to hit the ground running. She leveraged her personal systems for her contact information - and other valuable content - all of which was still fully accessible to her.

Mind you - she was careful that she did not keep any intellectual property owned by her previous employer.

The company Sue had left was forced to hire an experienced salesperson to replace her on a better package than Barry's.

Barry's career seemed to be progressing slowly despite achieving his numbers 2 of the last three years.

What am I telling you this story?

The reality is that most salespeople will work for at least 7 employees during their career.

The employees know this.

Too often they are reluctant to invest heavily in the development of salespeople and some prefer to hire experienced champions to stay ahead.

If you are not there already, I recommend you become one of these professional sales champions.


Invest in your personal development and take control of your career.

And ultimately build your own strong personal brand as Sue did - with focus on delivering value to your target customers.

So how do you do this?  That's the subject for another day.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please feel free to comment below and if you got value from this video please share it.

You need to take charge of your own development and your own personal brand.

This video is a story about how one salesperson, Sue, did this - and how she achieved outstanding results and career progression.



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Want to touch base? If you have questions please feel free to contact me - email: john.smibert(at), Phone: +61 404857893 or Skype: john.smibert


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