By | Hume Johnson | www.entrepreneur.com
Selling is the most important skill entrepreneurs are obliged to master. After all, the success of a product or service depends on your ability to sell it. Yet for selling to be truly successful, today’s entrepreneurs must be engaged as much with selling themselves as their products and services.
“Regardless of whatever product or service an entrepreneur has developed, it’s critical that entrepreneurs have a sure sense of self, and be able to sell their vision to prospective customers, partners, and/or investors,” says Geraldo Matos, assistant professor of marketing at Roger Williams University’s Mario J. Gabelli School of Business. As much as anything else, what you’re selling them is your competence, your reliability, your commitment, etc. Being able to powerfully communicate that is paramount.”
Yet the idea of “selling yourself” is no longer confined to entrepreneurs. Being able to effectively communicate your personal brand and unique value is as paramount in organizational settings as it is in business. In today’s fiercely competitive job market and corporate environment, both job seekers and employees must find effective ways to demonstrate their value, exhibit their finer qualities and talents and be recognized as quality candidates who can add value to their niche.
This is precisely where even the most seasoned professionals struggle. A Google search of the phrase “how to sell myself” reveals some 250,000 results. People are looking for answers on how to best sell themselves. Rather than a purely communicative act of “talking up yourself,” professionals must instead reimagine the notion of selling themselves; rewire their approach to focus on who they really are and the unique value they can offer to potential employers or colleagues. In other words, how can professionals define and communicate their value in more meaningful ways? I offer some ideas for both professionals seeking to enter an industry and those wanting to advance in their field.