By: Kevin Chung
Unless you want to live in a van down by the river, you will need to learn to sell your ideas as well as yourself. Whether you are interviewing for a new job or trying to get an investor to write a check for your start-up, the ability to get others to believe in you is an essential part of having a successful work life.
Using the following ideas, you can sell yourself just like a motivational speaker would and avoid the proverbial van down by the river. Or you can use your new found wealth to buy a van and travel the world.
Create an Emotional Connection
The more emotionally connected your audience is to your message, the more likely they will be to respond in the way you want them to respond. Determine if you can fill a void or solve a problem for your audience. How will your experience benefit your prospective employer and put more money in their pocket? How will your product boost your audience’s love life, fatten their wallets, or help them sleep better? Identify the emotional connection between what you have and what they need, and then mine it because it is full of gold.
Understand Your Audience
A one-size-fits-all approach to sales does not work because it lacks focus. You need to understand your audience in order to pitch anything effectively. The better you understand where your message is going and how it will be received, the more effective your message will be (1).
A joke delivered to one audience could lighten the mood while it could ruin your pitch and make you look offensive in another scenario. A serious data-centric approach could make one audience think that you have all the answers while it could make another audience think you are as dull as dishwater. Before pitching anything, think about your audience, their needs, their quirks, their motivations, and craft your pitch with those in mind.
Motivate Yourself Through Visualization
Regardless of how many tips and tricks you integrate, you will never sell yourself, your ideas, your products, or your brand unless you believe in them and you believe that they will sell. Visualization will help you to believe in yourself, your message, and your potential for success.
Quiet the chatter and clear the distractions in your life for a few moments. Create a picture of yourself talking to an individual or an audience, imagine the conversation sounding perfect, and imagine the individual acting just as you want them to act. Visualization can be a powerful tool for achieving anything from reducing anxiety to making a sale to accomplishing a physical feat, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2).
Learn from Other’s Success
When trying to pitch an idea or improve your technique, follow the example of other great leaders, such as Stephen R. Covey or Ed Young. Internationally-known and one of Time Magazine’s 25 most influential Americans, Covey was known for his self-help advice and habit building solutions. Pastor Young, founder of the Ed Young Fellowship Church, is known for his creative communication style and ability to make complex ideas simple and easily applicable. When in doubt, lean on the skills of others to build your own recipe for success.
Kevin has traveled to more than 30 countries and been a featured keynote speaker for over a dozen small business conferences. He began his career as an accountant, but felt like he had more to offer. He has built his reputation on a no-nonsense approach to organizing and motivation. If he’s not on-the-clock as a small business consultant, you can find him lounging by the beach or freelance writing — or both.
The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal and professional experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.