Your Most Valuable Asset
As a business owner, entrepreneur and/or professional your most valuable asset is not your good will, your customers or your employees – it’s you. You are unique. You’re special. There is no one else like you. You are made up of a history of experience, skills, personality traits and values. It defines you. It differentiates you. You react and act in a way that triggers whether or not someone wants to and/or will do business with you. Think about it for a moment and you will quickly realize that it’s no coincidence:
- Why customers buy from certain vendors and not from others
- Employers choose to hire certain employees over others
- Service professionals and suppliers fast track customer care and dependence for some over others
- Great value-deals happen for some at the right time vs. others
It’s likely in each of the cases mentioned above that someone was able to sell themselves—and do it well! Selling yourself, according to Executive Coach Irene Leonard means “naturally marketing you to the right people in the right way.” It means developing relationships in a meaningful way. When I think of selling myself, several words come quickly to mind. They include credibility, conviction, integrity, believability, excellence, service, reliability and intelligence, to name a few. These are not necessarily words that describe me as much as they are the expectations I want others to perceive in me—which is probably how most think of selling themselves. Just like we do a product or service, we interpret a need and customer expectation and they try to meet that expectation…
You can believe in your product or service and be able to sell “it” well but if you can’t sell “you” along with it well, it’s likely you will be at a competitive disadvantage to someone else who can. At the end of the day, most customers, suppliers, vendors and other stakeholders want to be associated with someone who will provide them the greatest value relationship and experience. They want assurance that even if the product or service fails the person behind that product or service will stand by it and make it right. And, those who thrive in business have made selling themselves seem natural and part of everything they do. They clearly have more opportunities available to them and for that, being able to sell yourself well and naturally is an important skillset to have in business. So just how do you sell yourself? How can each person improve in selling themselves? And, how can someone make selling themselves come as naturally as possible?
How to Sell Yourself
Selling yourself does not have to be a difficult or painful process especially if who you are is well known including your own strengths and limitations. Following are some tips from Irene Leonard to keep in mind when selling yourself and/or figuring out how to improve selling yourself:
- Know Yourself : What are your values? What are you passionate about? How do you operate? Be You.
- Be the best you can be: What can you do to raise the bar on what you have to offer? Meet or exceed expectations. Deliver a quality experience. Doing your best is more than negotiating a good deal, or keeping the property in good shape, or getting a good lease for a client. It is also making sure the experience of the transaction is a quality experience. Were you easy to get hold of? Did you return calls promptly? Did you deliver what was asked of you in a timely fashion? Was your attitude can do throughout the transaction? Be motivated. Do your work well. Be passionate about your work. Where does your passion or energy live?
- Develop quality relationships: Other people are whom you have to sell yourself to. What does selling yourself mean? I think it means developing relationships with people so that they want to do business with you. They want to hire you. They want to work for or with you. They want to refer to you. They want to help you. How satisfied are you with your relationships with: Your employer or boss, Your employees, Team members, Other workers, Professional contacts, Industry Peers? Consider what values you think are important to have a good reputation? Ones that will lead people to think of you if they need someone that does something like you do?
- Take initiative: What more can you do without being asked? Be visible. Be proactive. Let relationships know of your successes and accomplishments.
- Project confidence: Have a positive attitude. Trust yourself. Know your strengths and accomplishments. Be willing to take risks – learn from your actions. Be realistic. See possibilities or opportunities rather than failure.
- Be patient and determined: Give yourself time to reach your goals. Be willing to fail so you can learn from your mistakes. Be realistic. Expand your comfort zone. Don’t let anything stop you.
- Know what is behind what stops you so you won’t let it: Fear “The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out . . . and do it.” Susan Jeffers: “Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway” Limiting Beliefs. “I don’t want to brag.” or “That is not professional.” All or nothing thinking. “I am a failure when my performance is not perfect.” Negative thinking. “This is a problem.” Negative perspective. Good things don’t count nearly as much as bad ones. “I know I was successful at the last five deals, but losing this one makes me feel terrible.” Relying on “should” statements. Should statements are often the result of the voice we share in our head that lets us know we never do anything right. “I should have done that differently.” Or “I should have anticipated they were going to do that.
How to Sell Yourself TODAY!
Ital Nuttal in LeashOptional.com adds with a few unique ways to start selling yourself right now and getting what you want from your profession and life in general. He promotes being open, honest and passionate above all…
- Be you. Do things your way and be yourself. Others who are similar will gravitate to you and relate to you. They will also see you as a genuine person.
- Share yourself. This means sharing your mistakes, your successes, your failures. Share everything. There is likely to be someone out there who will relate to you!
- Believe you’re worth selling. Be confident and comfortable with yourself. This is not easy but so important. To get there, consider not complaining, doing something outrageous and/or meditating (reflecting silently) often.
- Ask questions, and listen! Listen, listen, listen. And, then you will hear people’s pains and be able to offer a solution.
- Smile. A smile will often times change a mood quickly, even if over the phone. Put on a smile and watch others warm up to you.
Nuttal suggests one final tip: Don’t be afraid of offending people or losing customers because of who you are. Learn not to worry about what others think because as the old cliché goes; “Those who mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind.” You’ll find your peers if you just continue to be open and honest. Just be you.”
Selling yourself can make a huge difference in your business and life success. Master it and you will change the world!
About the Author
Angelo Biasi is General Manager of SMART Marketing Solutions, LLC, a leading full-service integrated marketing company in Florida and New York since 2001. He has helped create and execute marketing plans and integrated marketing solutions for companies such as Playtex, Bic, Rogaine, Tauck, and over 35 colleges and universities, to name a few. Angelo has an MBA in Marketing from the University of Connecticut and teaches Marketing at New York University where he has for over six years. He has been quoted and/or featured in USA Today, Mobile Marketer magazine, Mobile Commerce Daily, Luxury Marketing magazine, BNET TV and Business Currents magazine, to name a few. For more information or to learn more, email him at abiasismartmarketingllccom (abiasismartmarketingllccom) , visit www.smartmarketingllc.com, call him at 239.963.9396 and follow him on Twitter @angbiasi.