Friday, September 10, 2010

Coffee is for Closers

People dislike the word sell. It implies capitalism, bureaucracy, lying, persuading, untruth.  Visions of sleazy, unfulfilled men with loosened ties, wrinkled shirts and worn briefcases a la  Death of a Salesman come to mind. And for me, always, Alec Baldwin's classic tirade in Glengarry Glen Ross.

People tell me all the time that they could never sell. Which always makes me smile, because we all do, every day. And if we don't learn how to do it well, we'll never achieve all that we want to.

It's easier to sell when it is as I talked about yesterday from a place of truth and integrity. It's harder when you are selling a car you would never drive, a dress you would never wear or a house you would never live in.

But what we all have to get good at is selling ourselves.
I can hear the winces, the stomachs turning.
Selling ourselves sounds we're prostituting who we are.

But that is not what I am talking about. I'm talking about selling you as an expert in your field, the person best for the job, an interesting person to make a friend, a fun date. Yes, the selling is not always related to business. It shows up in all parts of your life. You are your own brand. And even if you don't like the word sell, if you want to make an impact in any arena of your life you need to learn how to do it well.

It's a noisy world out there and it's getting noisier every day.  Everything we do has a chance of being recorded, on a blog, a Facebook post, a Tweet, or walking down the street and being caught on someone's iPhone video that they post on You Tube. You need to be paying attention. You need to be conscious.

I'm not suggesting pretending to be something you are not. That's exhausting!  I'm suggesting the opposite. I think presenting yourself from a place of authenticity and truth is what catches people most.  You can't pretend to have integrity. You can try but it's not long before people catch on and sand castle crumbles.

We get a little distracted in our on line world of commerce and information and we think the most important part of what we do is the interesting tweet or the high gloss sheen to our website. Yes, they are part of the equation.

But what is most important is us. Putting our best foot forward. Selling not just what we believe in, but who we believe in. Which in a perfect world is ourselves. At the end of the day everyone wants to have that cup of coffee.

Do you like the word sell?
Do you believe we are always selling something?


Colette Martin said...

Great topic Joanne. I will admit that I hate the word "sell". In my experience most women find self-promotion really tough.

Unknown said...

Thanks Colette! I agree that women have a harder time with this than men.

BigLittleWolf said...

Sometimes we are genuinely serving, rather than selling.

But most things are "sold" to a large degree, if you consider selling in the sense of motivating, persuading, convincing.

I don't have a problem with the word, but I do think women sometimes have a harder time selling themselves, which has much to do with culture, self-esteem, socialization, and the tacit judgment that selling is always tainted.