Intentionally or not, we all sell ourselves at some point in our lives. Whether it’s in a boardroom presenting our ideas to a group of executives or sitting in a meeting room being interviewed by a panel of hiring managers for a new job you really want or having an annual performance appraisal or bonus review with your boss, it’s inevitable we need to take the role of the salesperson and showcase what we’re good at. Ultimately, the goal is to persuade a decision maker to buy what we’re selling – ourselves.
Where do we begin? A good place to start is to ask ourselves this question: Are we visible enough to be counted for? I guess not everyone is comfortable with self-promoting or putting themselves forward but when the stakes are high, no one can afford to take a back seat or hide in a corner waiting to be discovered. The good news is: The world seems to have its own rewarding system. The bad news is: It rightfully operates outside our comfort zone.
Here’s an interesting example. The other day I was chatting with a café owner downstairs from the same building where I work, I noticed he had a box of friands (small almond cakes), uncovered, sitting on top of a food display cabinet instead of inside like the rest of patisseries. Not that he ran out of space. I was very curious so I went to ask him what it was all about. Wouldn’t they go stale very soon? I asked. He was very quick to respond: because they sell fast this way. I immediately got it. Yes, he had his point. Those friands looked fabulously delicious and mouth-watering. They were right in a prime position beside a cash register counter, perfectly on the eye level for any discerning customers. Who wouldn’t be tempted to grab a piece or two while there? Understanding the psychology behind it and marketing it in such a fashion, the café owner was indeed very clever at playing with visual effects which can work wonderfully like a hook that captures the consumer mind. It’s a lure that attracts buyers attention. The rest? It is a matter of letting the product speaking for itself: Hey! Look at me, I’m hot, I’m the best seller, buy me and eat me, now.
Although visibility doesn’t guarantee success, essentially, it’s a key ingredient to getting your foot in the door. Next time when you have an opportunity to sell yourself, how would you like to position yourself to increase your visibility? Think of those yummy friands. FYI, they were sold out…