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14 Mar, 2009

Know Your Worth Before Selling Yourself

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coaching Articles

Coaching Blog Selling Yourself

How many of you are looking for a job or interviewing candidates for positions? How many of you are attempting to influence and persuade others on a daily basis? Life is full of negotiations and opportunities to sell yourself. The question to ask yourself is am I good at it?

These are days of economic uncertainty and therefore prudence and restraint. We all still want to spend and hire and invest, but we are unsure due to the daily barrage of information we get from the media telling us how bad it is out there, and that it could get worse.

I do not suggest focusing on any negatives. Be realistic up to the point that you are still being positive. Do not cross over into pessimism! It will not help.

Whether you are going to a job interview, meeting a potential new client, mixing with someone on a first date or any other similar situation, it is vital to know your worth before you start talking!

Think of a sales person who is trying to convince you to buy a new camera, but they cannot explain any features, they do not know why this brand is better than the others, and they seem to be just hoping that you will buy the item so that they will get a commission. Not so convincing right? You will take your precious money (and trust) elsewhere.

If you are in a position to sell yourself, your product, service or ideas, then the same principle applies. If you cannot explain clearly to the other person why they should trust you or buy from you, then you are going to fail or lose that opportunity. Simple. To be convincing you must know your worth and speak from a position of confidence, credibility and assuredness. So how do you get to know your worth?

Start with taking stock. Write a list of your strengths and weaknesses, but purposefully make it lop-sided. List 10 strengths and 3 weaknesses. These could be interpersonal skills, professional training, hard or soft skills, related experience or anything you think is relevant to the situation. Once you have created your list really reflect on why your strengths are assets that anyone would be happy to have access to. Come up with a plan to overcome your weaknesses, or at least chip away at them. By taking stock before the meeting or date or networking function etc. you are allowing your inner-self to see and focus on the successes and attributes you have. We want them in the forefront of your conversations. We want them to give us a quiet sense of confidence and accomplishment, and also something to talk about if the opportunity arises or is required (like in a job interview).

What sounds better to you?

Q. “Why should we hire you?”

A1. “Well I really want to work here and I think that if you just give me a chance I can really show you my abilities. I am very eager to join your company!”

OR

A2. “I have over 10 years of industry experience in 3 different positions, and have had a chance to make mistakes and grow by them. I know my analytical skills will complement my strong work ethic and desire to get the job done properly, as my references will attest to, and I also believe that your company/this position fits with my personality. Let me explain…”

Q. “Why should I buy this product and not your competitors’?”

A1. “We are the best. Everyone knows that. Just ask anyone and they will tell you that we have been around the longest and have great service. I have heard that our competitors often mark up their items before sales as well. Shameful. You can trust us for your needs.”

OR

A2. “That is a great question. Even though our company mission is to provide the best quality and customer care in the city, some people still may feel a little nervous trying a new product. Some customers felt they needed our product but were not sure if it would suit their needs fully. However after buying it from us and filling out our customer service survey, we have found that 98% of all customers who bought that same item were absolutely satisfied. The 2% that were not were offered a full refund, no questions asked. We believe in treating our customers with respect and earning their business.”

Q. “Why should we go out to dinner together? I just met you.”

A1. “Because I really like you! I find you extremely attractive and do not want to go out with anyone else. You are the one for me, can’t you see that? I hope you agree to a second date. We will get along just fine, I promise.”

OR

A2. “Yes it is true that we just met. Normally I would take things a bit slower, but I have been on a few dates recently and they did not make me feel like I do with you. I know myself well, and am not in the habit of falling head over heels with every new person who I chat with. So that is why I am confident that we have some genuine chemistry, and I would like another opportunity to continue to get to know each other, if you feel the same way about me, of course. I think a quiet evening at a French Bistro that I know would give us that chance to get to know each other more. Interested?”

In these examples you can see that no matter whether you are applying for a job, selling a product or are out on a date, the main principle is to sell yourself with a calm confidence that comes from knowing who you are and what you have i.e. your worth.

Work on it.

By Ric Phillips
Communication Coach & Trainer
3V Communications – Building Confident Communications!

www.CommunicationCoach.ca

2 Responses to "Know Your Worth Before Selling Yourself"

1 | Jacqueline Pigdon

March 20th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

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Excellent examples. I agree it’s paramount to know yourself hence at Jina Life we help people discover their true and inner strengths as well as their weaknesses so they can both utlise their strengths to their full potential and work on turning their weaknesses around into a strength.

2 | Sam Waterfall

April 11th, 2009 at 10:51 am

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Building on Ric’s interview scenario – the very best way is to know your CV and yourself so well that you can discuss the detail of specific examples. This comes only from thorough preparation. (Yes that means time and effort!) It means knowing facts and figures, the changes you made happen and the decisions you took.

Don’t fall into the trap of outlining generalities when questioned – any candidate can do that and it doesn’t look impressive. It’s an approach used by those who make up their track record as they talk and, worse still, it’s easily spotted by interviewers and destroys your credibility. Don’t try it.

While it may sound cliched, “failing to prepare is preparing to fail” – and that’s never truer than in a competitive interview scenario. Good luck!

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