In business and life in general you meet hundreds of people and encounter thousands of ‘sales pitches’. They tend to follow a tried and tested formula. Identify the problem people are having, introduce your product as the solution, talk about its unique selling points, summarise the time or money it will save and the value it will add. So when it comes to selling ourselves – do we adopt the same formula and what are the personality attributes we should be pitching to make ourselves look credible?
Firstly, know your stuff. Whatever your talent, whatever your ambition, take the time and resource available to you to become an expert in your field and keep on striving to learn. Things move very fast and the world could move on without you noticing so keep informed and never stop increasing your knowledge.
The next one would be ‘like me’. By that I don’t mean be another Trevor Finn, one’s quite enough thanks. However, most people would consider themselves credible so if you can relate to them it’s likely they’ll see a little of themselves in you. Whether it’s following a similar career path, work ethic, heritage, language or even outside interests, they see you as credible as that’s how they see themselves. It’s also a great first step in building a rapport.
Lastly, to create success in others. This is often the one that people fall down on. You meet many people who are incredibly knowledgeable but they use this knowledge solely for personal gain. In leadership an old but timeless quote from an established leader; “Knowledge is power”. This is true but it is even more powerful when that knowledge is passed on. It’s a credible and magnetic personality trait to try and encourage success in others. Many of the successful people I have encountered and admired over the years are ones that are very knowledgeable but freely share this to create success in others, which in my opinion makes them highly credible.
For me, having credible people within an organisation is key to success and these are the three attributes I look for in any person trying to sell themselves to me. Organisations can encourage these traits also. At Pendragon we have a fantastic learning and development programme that not only ensures our team members don’t stand still, but that they’re moving forward with leadership courses and training that continually shares new skills or knowledge. Coupled with our mentoring programmes we also encourage sharing knowledge and best practice amongst team members that hopefully promotes more ‘we’ and less ‘me’ attitudes. Those with enough confidence in their own ability don’t fear being upstaged by sharing knowledge so if you’re not already doing it, give it a try.
What attributes do you look for in candidates?