Subtitle: How to sell yourself more effectively!
One of the biggest challenges that many people face is selling. Most of us view selling and sales as a necessary evil that other people do. It's an arcane art and hard to define. Some people seem to have a natural gift, yet most of us feel like a fish out of water with dire consequences if we get it wrong.
And yet ....
Then there is the added complexity of having to sell ourselves, which makes us shy away in horror and is seen right up there with bragging, taking credit for others work or being manipulative. Your inner voice probably leans more towards .....
Can't they see how well I do my job? Why should I be the one to have to tell them? If they were doing their job properly they'd notice.
Add into the mix that delicate tightrope than many women walk between nice girl and hard nosed b*tch when heading towards the C-suite - it's no wonder we get nervous.
But if you don’t sell yourself, who else will?
You need to learn to sell brand you and it's nobody's job but yours. You need to sell the benefit of your results and personality to recruiters, future employers, bosses, C-suites and boards just to name a few. And you need to do it all the time not just at critical moments. No-one gets an internal promotion by the way they turn up at the job interview. Those decisions have been made long before and are based on your ability to sell brand you in the previous six months or so.
A powerful formula to help people take more notice of you
So if you have trouble selling yourself here’s a powerful formula to get you started and I call it Selling Yourself 101 - focusing on:
- The problems you solve,
- The difference you make, and
- The value you add.
1. The problems you solve
The sort of work you enjoy might include untangling complex business problems, wrangling out of control spread sheets or data into producing meaningful insights, managing people more effectively, creating order out of chaos, creating dynamic change in a stagnant situation, providing emergency solutions to maintain BAU and then providing preventative measures to ensure the issue doesn’t happen again. We’re all in the business of solving problems. It’s what we call work. So identify what the problem is that you solve and learn to articulate that.
2. The difference you make
The difference you make might include your expertise, your specific focus, your ability to see things differently, your years of experience, your gender, your emotional intelligence, your communication skills, your people focused leadership, insights from different industries/organisations or a combination of any or all of the above. What is different about your approach? Don't fall into the trap of thinking you are just like other people. Work out what makes your approach different - and own it.
3. The value you add
Possibly the best way to talk about value is to remember that the C-suite wants to hear about things in their language and you need to communicate that along with results and measures. Quantify, quantify, quantify. Include examples around profitability, turn around time, efficiency, risk, governance, customer satisfaction, staff engagement, strategic agenda items and things that might keep the leadership team awake at night. Dig deep and find specific examples where you’ve used your expertise, focus and energy to solve a problem that had real benefits to the organisation you were working on behalf of.
Where can you use this formula?
- Your CV front page
- LinkedIn profile summary
- Professional bio for reading out at conferences
- In the elevator/taxi with someone more senior
- In a sales presentation
- At a networking function
- Around a board room table when meeting people for the first time
- At a training event when you need to introduce yourself
- In an interview
and the list goes on .....
Why should you?
Because people don’t buy products. They buy solutions to problems. So if you can find a way of articulating yourself well enough to demonstrate how brand you solves problems and delivers results, then you are in front of most other people.
Your turn in the comments below
- What problems do you solve?
- What difference do you make? and
- What value do you add?
Go on, you know you want to .......
Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes
- I am the creator of The Ambition Revolution – the science and art of amping smart and savvy.
- I mentor busy professionals to ensure they remain strategic, agile and focused on the bigger game.
- I also work with organisations who are trying to increase the profile of women in leadership, but struggling to do so
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