Can You Sell Yourself?

Can You Sell Yourself?

By Richard Okolo

Throughout life, all of us will be required to present ourselves in a particular manner to individuals and groups alike. This is a lifelong process which can occur frequently and periodically. All of us have gone through some sort of interview process. Although the most common interview is for employment, there are various others such as:

• credit and/of loan application
• renting an apartment
• financing a car purchase or lease
• applying for credit (e.g. credit cards, line of credit, mortgage, etc)
• opening a bank account
• immigration status (e.g. student visa, green card, landed immigrant status)
• acceptance into an institution (e.g. private school, university, etc)
• auditions (e.g. ballet, theatre, talent agent, record company, etc)

Quite frequently, people are being screened to see whether they fit the standards that businesses and organizations have set in place. In order for individuals to adhere to their policies and regulations, they will have to sell themselves.

No what does selling yourself mean? Well, it means that people must be able to believe in what you have to offer. It is imperative that those seeing and listening to you are convinced that you are what you say you are. This is no easy process, but you can improve your chances of “being bought”. Here are some areas to consider:


What are my strengths and what areas do I need improvement in?

This requires what we like to call “professional introspection”. You must be honest with yourself. You may be a great at planning and organizing, but lack the social aptitude to be an effective communicator. Try to clearly define what makes you great at what you do and what areas need more attention paid to.

Ask yourself if you are believable?

One of the great entrepreneurs of our time, Dave Thomas, was just this. Dave Thomas (1932-2002) is the founder of the Wendy’s fast food chain. Throughout the last two decades, many television commercials featured Dave in them. This was quite unusual since most corporations used actors or mascots as their main pitch people. Coincidentally, the long running Dave Thomas Campaign showcased Dave as a down-to earth, charismatic grandfather caricature. This persona gave people the impression that he was trustworthy and honest.

Dave turned himself into a celebrity. Various schools, universities and businesses alike asked him to speak at their functions. Dave Thomas was able to parlay his affable personality into a profitable marketing campaign for Wendy’s, making it one of America’s top fast food restaurants.

If you are able to make yourself believable, others will rarely question what you have to offer and take you at more than face value.

The Screening

Look the part. Make sure to dress appropriately. You should take heed to consider your target audience. Whenever you sell yourself, you appearance does matter. It is better to overdress that look too casual.

Be prepared. Be punctual for any meeting(s) you may have. By now, all the research and preparation should be done. You should now be ready to explain and ask about relevant areas related to what you are looking for.

Be conscious of body language. Give a firm handshake at any meeting(s) you have. Try to maintain eye contact and avoid staring. Display good posture and don’t forget to smile. These nonverbal actions show that you are genuine and sincere.

Display a winning attitude. You must exude confidence and determination. Having a positive mind frame and being upbeat will assist you tremendously. Others must be able to see that you have qualities which will produce desired results. Signs of self doubt and indecisiveness make one look unprepared. A can-do attitude is acceptable; this is what you want to display during the entire screening process (especially in face to face situations).

Ask questions. If you do not understand certain concepts, ask for clarification. People will be more that willing to give you answers to things you may not be clear about. This also shows you have a willingness to learn (a positive aspect of your repertoire).

These are just a few tips to enhance your appeal when you sell yourself.

Copyright © 2011 The Nusqu Group. All Rights Reserved.

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