The Art of Selling Yourself for Success

A barely-known junior senator from Illinois becomes the first African American elected President of the United States. A 19-year-old Pittsburgh entrepreneur strikes a $100,000 deal with Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban and turns a small business into a multi-million dollar company. A former advertising executive sells rocks as hassle-free pets and creates an estimated $15 million dollar profit in six months.

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Barack Obama, Lani Lazzari, and Gary Dahl had one common denominator which enabled them to achieve such goals. They knew how to sell themselves for success.

Understanding the mechanics of selling yourself is crucial when inspiring others about your particular project, gaining buy-in from staff and upper management, or building credibility in your industry.

Here are six practical steps in developing the art of selling yourself:

Get rid of grumpy

A failed experiment, rejected ideas, budget cuts, and stress can cause a negative attitude or grumpy disposition. Let go of the critical internal voice. Evaluate traits that might be off-putting to others. Replace any self-imposed limitations with thoughts of opportunities. Change the question “Will this work?” to “How can I make this work?” Smile often because it makes you more approachable and raises your tone of voice, making you sound more accessible.

Ditch damaging communication signs

What you’re not saying speaks louder than your words. Most people show low self-esteem through their body language. A dropped chin, eluding eye contact, folded arms, and the fig leaf pose (hands grasped in front where the fig leaf is placed in historical paintings) project a struggle with confidence. Take notice of your body language because 90 percent of communication is nonverbal.

Take stock in the value of you

Consider “you” as a product or brand. List your strengths, accomplishments, the qualities you needed to achieve those accomplishments, and positive descriptions others express about you to supersize you. When you need a confidence boost, read your list.

Expand beyond your comfort zone

Fear, a negative perspective, and limiting beliefs will keep you in the same comfortable spot. And that’s okay when you want to be in the same place five years from now. If you do not, try something different or opposite of a typical action for you. If you tend to stay on the perimeter of a meeting, step closer to the center and be visible. Do you wait for someone else to say hello first? Adopt the 30-second rule. Within 30 seconds, greet someone passing or approaching.

Show up as the person you want to be

Use your long-range goals to determine your future self. Outline the actions you need to take and a timeline. Email it to your future self via the web site FutureMe.org. Then, be proactive by creating the professional presence today as if you have reached that destination.

Develop relationships

Look at your current professional relationships. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of each. Are people excited to work with you? Do people follow your lead regardless of your position? Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO and author of Delivering Happiness, believes you cannot view influence as something you do to get your own way. You have to make a commitment to understand others, collaborate with them, and seek to inspire them with your actions.


LABCAST: Be sure to attend Mj Callaway’s Lab Manager Academy webinar, “The Art of Selling Yourself for Success” on June 3, or afterward at www.labmanager.com/sellingyourself to watch the archived video.

Categories: Business Management

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Remote Control Magazine Issue Cover
Remote Control

Published: May 7, 2015

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