In my decades as a professional woman I have done quite a bit of relationship building (what some might call “networking”). And that is across a multitude of a variety of professional hats worn. I have also “sold” a great many services and products and, at least from my vantage point, did a decent job of it. I never made my millions but I also did not completely stink at any of it. In my counseling and diagnostic practice, I was “selling” my services as a very thorough diagnostician and efficient behavior medication specialist for children. As a development consultant, I was “selling” my collective wisdom and services in assisting charitable organizations in streamlining their fundraising practices and overall operations. As a certified yoga instructor, I was “selling” 60 minutes of peace on the mat that included great music, thoughtful yet powerful movement and stories that inspired. As an author and speaker I have “sold” books and my time as Keynote to share a story that helps awaken others to the importance of protecting our
children from pedophiles. As a banker, I “sell” high levels of customer service and efficiency in a full banking relationship for our customers. As an Independent Ambassador for India Hicks, I “sell” a beautiful, fun, high-quality lifestyle brand of women’s accessories via Get Togethers.
But are those products and services truly what I am selling? What is the real brand here, in these instances of peddling my services or wares? Maybe the “what” is not nearly as relevant as the WHO am I selling? And that WHO has a lot to do with the HOW I am selling. Hmmmmm, a shift in perspective.
It always makes me laugh to myself when someone gives me a compliment about whatever service or product I am selling and quickly follows it with, “I could never do that. I’m not a sales person.” Ha! Therein lies the issue.
SHE-friends, plain and simple, we are ALL a sales person. The brand is YOU. It took me almost 50 years to truly “get” that. But when I look back over my years of “selling” even when in high school trying out for activities, socially in making new friends, in a new job or in a room of strangers, I needed to sell ME successfully before anyone would consider my services or products.
And here is the real kicker, SHE-friends: The best sales person is not actively SELLING anything. The best sales person is BEING her best SHE, because her best SHE is honest, authentic, talented, intelligent, reasonable, forthcoming, happy and a joy to be around.
So here is today’s thought-provoking nugget: Take a moment to look at this past month and the WHAT that you have been “selling”- whether you are working on the Auction for your kids’ school, building a new business, trying to figure out your next step professionally or personally… Now, shift the perspective to YOU, not the product or service. The product/service is what you are representing but YOU are the brand. How have you gone about it? How have your actions and attitudes possibly influenced the “buyer mentality” of the people you are approaching?
Are you being open, honest, communicative? Does your demeanor give off joy for what you are doing? Can people around you perceive your “happy factor?”
Are you credible? Do you slug thru life feeling like everything is difficult or that people aren’t responding to your product/service the way you would like them to?
Consider taking a strong look at how you are presenting the product/service and yourself. Maybe your demeanor reflects that the product/service you are selling is not a “best fit” to who YOU are and what comes naturally to your BEST SHE-self.
A little over a week ago, I was honored to be asked by my alma mater to speak on a panel of women as a part of their annual women’s symposium. As we fielded questions about successfully navigating male-dominated industries (we represented the financial industry, medicine, law and technology), it came time to respond, one by one, to the last question of the evening: “If you could give a young woman graduating from college and entering the workforce a piece of advice, what would you tell her?” My answer was pretty simple. Be true to who you are. Start there and from there, that is where you build your relationships and a career that is a best fit for YOU to be your best you and successful. And my 2nd nugget of advice to young women was simply this: Don’t be angry. So many young women are told that there entire career will be a fight to make more money, a fight to be taken seriously, a fight to “make it” in certain industries. Boo on that. Be smart, be motivated, work hard, make your voice heard and your talents recognized, support other women, give back and just be YOU. Until next time…
Note from the SHE files: YOU are the brand, so represent it well