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Added: November 6, 2005
Article rating: 3.15 (of 5) - 60 votes

The Top 10 Ways to Market Yourself without Turning People Off

[ by Jan Austin ]
1. Be really passionate about what you do.

If you're not excited, other people won't be either. When you're joyful about your work, hobby, etc., you're attractive to yourself. When you're attractive to yourself, you attract others. It's that simple.
2. Get over feeling you have to impress people.

Yes, you worked hard to know what you know and be where you are, but don't expect other people to appreciate that as much as you do. When you emphasize what you know or how far you've come, you run the risk of coming off as egotistical and patronizing. Worse yet, you can create such a distance between yourself and others that they'll write you off. Better to practice humility. On the other hand, when others know that you're a gold mine of talent or information about something and you hold back deliberately even when you've been asked to help, you can get the same unpleasant result. The key here is to place yourself in other people's shoes and find out what it is they care about.

 3. When people ask what you do, use real life examples of how you have helped others solve a problem, improve their quality of life, stretch themselves, etc.


    When you use real life examples, you tend to get rid of the complexity and jargon that so often turn people off anyway. Moreover, using real life examples enables the person you're talking with to relate what you're saying to his/her own situation, wants, or needs.


4. "Tell it to a wise person, or be silent."


    This line from a poem holds a great truth. The person who is ready to hear your message is the person who can make the most use of it. With those who are not receptive, your message just bounces off into the air, or, worse, triggers defensive reactions in the other person.


5. Eliminate jargon from your vocabulary.


    When you use jargon, however meaningful it is to you, you risk turning the other person off because what you're saying is too cryptic to be understood or you appear to be showing off. When you have a conversation with another person based on his/her point of view, you naturally ease into using his/her vocabulary. It's that person's vocabulary which has meaning for him or her, and that's what you want to connect with.


6. When someone does want you to explain a key concept, do so in a way that uses a situation, problem, or challenge in that person's life.


    Key here is that you're making the explanation about the other person, not yourself.


7. Learn as much as you can about what's missing for the person.


    Then, look to identify a way that you could help address what you need. When you focus on what you need rather than what's wrong, you naturally bolster people's self esteem. You also communicate powerfully that it's a fixable issue. Remember, even if your product or service has lots of features and benefits, only a few of them will ever be of interest to or relate directly to what is needed for someone. Again, you're making your message about what it is the individual wants and needs.


8. Be a model in the use of your product or service.


    When you believe enough in something to orient your own life around it, you naturally communicate confidence in your product or service. This makes you and whatever it is you offer more attractive.


9. Be willing to talk about things completely unrelated to your product or service.


    This creates the opening for accidental discovery, or serendipity. You never know what might come out of a seemingly innocuous conversation about hobbies, travel, fine dining, or television sports. One thing's for sure. When you take the time to invest in getting to know someone else for the simple pleasure of knowing them, you will likely find something coming back your way, sooner or later.


10. Practice exquisite listening skills.


    When you listen, really listen, you put your own agenda completely aside and allow yourself to "be with" another person. That's a great gift that too many people don't fully appreciate the value of. When you do this, you may hear people saying things like, "Wow, what a great conversation we had," "That guy/gal really seemed to understand where I was coming from." And, when people feel fully understood and cared about, who do you think they want to do business with and send their friends, family and associates to?



This piece was originally submitted by Jan Austin, M.S., M.P.A., P.C.C., who can be reached at Jan Austin wants you to know: I am a corporate and small business coach with over twenty years of organizational leadership experience. I coach corporate executives, middle managers, small business owners and professionals in private practice to create success without suffering. I integrate principles of behavioral science and business acumen with warmth and compassion to assist my clients in creating fulfulling personal and business lives. In addition to my coaching practice I am Director of the Corporate Business Coaching Program at Corporate Coach U International.

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