One of the most important skills you can have in life is the ability to sell yourself. Whether you area a sales professional, company leader, small business owner, parent, volunteer, or friend; it doesn't matter what your role, possessing the ability to get people to buy-in to your ideas, hear what you have to say and want what you have to offer all boils down to your ability to sell yourself.
Why then, if this skill is so important, do few people really know how to do it? The answer is simple, demonstrating the ability to sell yourself starts with admitting your role in the process. To effectively sell yourself, some things have to change - the challenge is those things start with- YOU!
You need a plan:
Determine who you want to be and how you want others to think of and describe you. For those of you just starting this will be an ongoing process, but to begin simply write down ten ways you would want someone to describe you. Would you want them to say - that you are smart, funny, responsible, caring, high energy - you get the idea. Just simply write down your thoughts, stop and review and when you are happy with what you have there - grade yourself.
On a scale of 1-10 - 10 being the highest - at what level do you believe you are each of those things, and at what level do you believe others think of you this way.
Then determine your gap - how far away from ten are you? And what specific actions steps could you take to close those gaps. This is your weekly plan - taking those steps to close those gaps.
Just simply looking at this list every morning will begin to move you forward and much closer to becoming the person you want to be and a person you can easily sell!
We add value to relationships in many ways, but the top four are through our appearance, our actions, our words and our attitude. I will be the first to say appearance matters! We live in a prejudice world - oh I do not mean prejudice in the manner it is typically used - I mean that people derive confidence, comfort and belief from our appearance. Do you want to go to a doctor who has grease under his/her fingernails? Do you want to go to a hairdresser with bad color and bad hair? Do you want to go get a tattoo from someone in a three piece suit? Typically no - our appearance says quite a bit about us. Do not underestimate appearance - it matters.
Next are your actions - they speak so much louder then your words! Do you tell people you will call them and get together - then never do. Do you say you care about your clients - then do not follow-up with them in a timely manner. Do you tell people you are a relationship organization, but only talk with them when they contact you? Think about your actions and if they reflect the person you say you are.
Words can be powerful - they have the ability to add energy and motivate someone or completely crush them. Think not only about what you say but how you say it. You say quite a bit about yourself with the words you choose. And your words have the ability to create both a positive and negative reaction and feeling about you.
Lastly is your attitude. Are you someone people want to be around or someone people avoid? We all know both kinds of people. We look at our daily schedules and either get excited that people are on our calendar that day or grimace because we have to spend an hour with someone whom we feel will ruin our day. Ensure you are a person others want to be around, but also someone that people seek to be around.
To keep pushing yourself to another level and make you continuously desirable in the market place question yourself. Questions such as: Am I the best at what I do? Do people see me as a resource in my chosen field? And am I committed to life long learning? Do I seek to consistently better myself?
If you take the time to invest in doing all three of the above steps you will be very good - way ahead of your competitors - at selling yourself. To reach the level of "great at selling yourself" you have to strive to be authentic. For me, this means open, honest and most of all transparent. Buying is emotional, people are responding to your confidence and your energy. To project positively in those areas you must be at peace in all areas of your life:
Doesn't mean all areas are perfect - it means that you have been honest with yourself about what is working and what is not in all areas. You have taken personal responsibility for what you have learned. And you are committed to asking for help and doing the work you need to do to grow and expand in each area.
As you can see, learning to sell yourself is a simple process, but it is not easy. However, it is one of the greatest investments you will ever make.