March 11, 2018
“Selling Yourself” are two words that make most people I talk to cringe, whether I’m interviewing new contractors or having an initial discovery with a prospect. When I ask those down and dirty questions like “what are your strengths?” or “where do you add most value in your business” or even “why do your clients choose to work with you” and “how would you add value to our team”, I’m often met with a long pause. Is it tall poppy syndrome or am I working with particularly modest people!
We’re taught not to blow our own trumpet yet we’re expected to be confident and put our best foot forward. When I started this business back in 1998 no-one knew what a virtual assistant did, let alone have prospecgts approach me already sold on the benefits of delegation and partnering up with skill sets to compliment their own! And I don’t sell myself, ever. Honestly I don’t think we need to. What we need (and what I needed back then) is confidence and a strong belief that what we offer (as a business and a person) is valuable to those we work with, that we at the top of our industry. Have this and selling yourself becomes unnecessary; your passion/knowledge/sincerity/expertise comes through naturally.
So, my tips to avoid having to sell yourself are:
- Know what you do well, then own it!
- Be confident (if you struggle with this try surveying your clients and team asking them for feedback, I bet that feedback will help boost your confidence!)
- Have a genuine need to add value for those you work with and for, it comes through every time!
- Be natural, don’t force what doesn’t feel right (if it doesn’t feel right, change it – you’re in the driving seat!)
- Go with your instincts, passions, and what feels right for you. If you don’t, you’ll come across as hesitant and unsure.
- Be someone people want to work with and rave to others about working with you.
- Don’t let the bad times shake you. EVERYONE has them – live, learn and let go.
- Be positive, be happy, be kind, be value for money.
It’s a long, long time since I interviewed for a job but I haven’t forgotten the nerves going into the interview. Never again! I “interview” when having a discovery call with a prospect (yet I don’t). I don’t sell myself but I’m 100% confident we provide a solution for frustrations and pain points of our prospects, and I’m passionate about what we’ve done behind the scenes to ensure we deliver this.
So, selling yourself? Don’t. In these days of inbound or ‘pull’ marketing no one wants to hear a hard sell, instead they want to walk away from a call, a coffee, a pitch or a meeting with you going wow, I want that person on my team. They care about me and my business and they are friggen good at what they do. You’ll attract the right kind of people, and you’ll be happy while you’re doing it.
Now go forth, and don’t sell! (and definitely don’t sell to me).
And book a discovery with me, I promise not to sell either!