Regardless of what role you’re in at your company, you are a salesperson for at least yourself. You had to sell yourself to get the position or sell yourself to people to do business with you, whether a client, a strategic partner, or a teammate.
When you’re thinking about how to sell yourself, be sure to incorporate these four tips:
1. Know Your Strengths and Successes
When it comes to confidence, one sure fire way to find your confidence is to lean into your strengths. If you’re naturally talented in the area of fact-finding, use this trait when you’re talking with someone to look for new facts about them. If you have a natural talent for problem-solving, listen for areas where you can offer solutions. Whatever your talent may be, whether it’s using numbers, building relationships, execution, strategic thinking, or any other talent under the sun, own who you are and apply those natural talents in your conversations with others.
2. Avoid Discouraging Language
Yoda taught us one of the best lessons: “Do or do not, there is no try”. When you use language like “I try” or “I hope to”, it instantly takes away from the value you offer and discredits your own hard work. I could guarantee 9/10, you’re not trying, you’re doing! Maybe not to the level that you want, which is why it feels like trying, but get that silly word out of your head and own the progress you’re making!
Other words and phrases that can take away our own credit are saying such as “I think”, “this may sound stupid, but”, “I’m not sure, but”, or even the very humble “I may be wrong, but”. If you truly know the answer, don’t downplay your knowledge and expertise with words that discredit you as you speak.
Instead, use confident words like “Definitely” or phrases like “I believe” or “I won’t” instead of “I can’t”. Chances are you can do something, but the difference of saying “I won’t” tells the other person you are making a confident decision.
3. Learn How to Communicate in a Way They Understand
While it’s incredibly important for us know how we communicate from our own perspective, it’s even more important for us to learn and understand how others communicate. There is no point in sharing the most important message if it’s done in a way that others can’t comprehend. This is particularly true when we discuss industry-specific topics that someone outside the field may not understand. Be sure to use caution when speaking with terms or acronyms. It’s easy to want to show our expertise by using high-level conversation points, but keep in mind that if you do, you may want to be conscious of teaching the information rather than just sharing it.
4. Use Show and Tell
A major way we show confidence isn’t by what we say, but by what we do. So, when you’re in a position where you need to sell yourself with confidence, think “show and tell”. Show you’re confident by using strong body language, dress appropriately, and walk the walk the way you talk the talk. If you say you are going to do something, be sure to follow up and do it. Be prepared to face the person you’re speaking with, use great eye contact, a firm handshake, and engage your body with your audience. Lean in, position yourself towards then, keep your head up and proud. It’s easy to shy away when we’re uncomfortable and some of the non-verbal cues may be slouching, looking down often, crossing your arms with your shoulders hunched over.
At the end of the day, what we say, how we say it, and even what we don’t say are all ways we can express confidence. As always, test and measure what works for you and keep practicing because practice makes progress!
Author: Kyleigh Mazer, Business Coach in New Albany, IN