In the simplest of terms, sales is all about knowing “what” you’re selling and “why” someone should buy it. What’s in it for them? Self-promotion is no different.
“What” you’re selling is your greatest strength, and “why” someone, or a company, should buy it is your value proposition.
Today, hiring managers are looking for a rock star. They want the best. They want an expert and not a “jack of all trades, master of none”. Regardless of your profession, industry, or job title, everyone has a dominant strength. What’s most important is figuring out what that dominant strength is.
A strength, the way I describe it, is an innate talent or skill. And when you perform that talent you actually feel stronger, you feel powerful and energized. You’re in the zone! It doesn’t feel like work. If you could do that one activity all day, every day, you would be the happiest person on the planet.
Some people discover their strengths through introspection and soul searching. Some intuitively know what they’re good at. Some use tools like Strengths Finder, and some work with career coaches to help identify their strengths.
Here’s a simple exercise I use in all my presentations to bring the strengths to the surface. It’s called a “Shout Out”, and, yes, you’re really supposed to shout out your answer to this question…
“There is no one in the world better at _________ than me!”
Some examples might be…
- customer service
- sales and marketing
- public speaking
- financial planning
Now you know “what” you’re promoting, it’s time to figure out “why” a company needs it. How can they benefit? Let them know what’s in it for them.
Companies are not complicated, especially today. They want to know one of two things, and hopefully both. Can you make them money or save them money? It’s all about how you can positively impact their bottom line…that’s a value proposition.
When people think of value, they think of sales representatives because they generate revenue. It’s true, that’s a strong value proposition. However, every single profession has the ability to demonstrate value. I promise. Here are some examples…
- increased client retention
- reduced expenses
- saved time by streamlining procedures
- improved processes and efficiencies
- reduced turnover
- solved a major problem
- secured positive publicity
- increased market share
- developed a new product or service
I know that self-promotion does not come naturally to most people, and it’s not easy. It also doesn’t happen magically. Think about what you want to say, the “what” and the “why”, and then don’t be afraid to Shout It Out!