Mark Jeffries: “Have you invested in yourself?”

GUESTPOST BY MARK JEFFRIES

In the IT business – we have a big advantage. Very cool solutions that truly help businesses solve problems. Nice!

However, that is not our challenge. The IT challenge is actually whether your target – be it client, colleague or boss – actually wants to buy YOU!  The unspoken questions become – ‘what value do you bring’, why should I trust you? What will YOU do for me?

Businesses understand that with an economy in a fragile recovery, it is impossible to ruthlessly raise prices and to aggressively grab market share. Instead, it would appear that the game is to add value, offer the customer more and constantly justify their  existence.

From an individual perspective, we need to take note. Taking a leaf out of the book of ‘big business’, for our own use as individuals, is worth a go.

WHAT ARE YOU WORTH??

Never forget that people buy people – and every time that you explain the benefit of your offering, the value of your products or the brilliance of your service –  people are really choosing whether they buy YOU or not. Here are some ideas on how you can increase your own buyability.

PERSONAL PR

Despite the arrival of Google+, this Twitter thing is clearly here to stay – and yet so MANY people have yet to dive in. If you Tweet only once a year or have never yet issued your thoughts to the Twittersphere – start now. Be outspoken, attach photos, give people a little insight into who you are, curate cool articles from blogs or websites – create your online brand. If you need a rude awakening, check out your Klout score (an algorithm-driven score based on the influence you have on the world) at www.klout.com

LUCKY CLOTHES = CONFIDENCE

Whether we admit it or we don’t, we all have lucky clothes. Maybe it’s a suit, shirt, even some underwear (!!)… When we are wearing that specific item we feel more powerful. We imagine that, somehow, by wearing something we have anointed as very lucky we now possess a strength, a power that we can use to get ahead.

What really is happening is that we know we look good in this particular item of clothing. When we look good, whether we realize it or not, we exude a certain confidence that people want to buy. This works and is a great investment in our overall efforts to continue selling ourselves. (moral: Spend money on clothes, make yourself look good!)

WE ARE ALL IN SALES

If people buy people, then, by default, we are all in sales! When I make this point at the conferences and conventions where I am lucky enough to speak, I can often sense the  initial disbelief in the large audiences (especially the lawyers, CPAs and IT Professionals).

But, and you know this, it’s a fact of life.

With everything we say and every step we take, people choose whether to buy us, our ideas and our suggestions … or not.

Spending time truly understanding if you are selling yourself to your best ability or you are perhaps falling short, is a very strong way to Invest in yourself.

WOULD YOU BUY YOU?

If you were sitting in an audience watching YOU would you be interested? If you were watching television and YOU came on .. would you stay on the channel?

These are tough but valuable questions, so take a few minutes to consider how you have invested in yourself – your clothes, your tone, your brand, your knowledge, your stories … your buy-ability!

There is no greater way to invest in yourself than to stop focusing on what you want to sell and really concentrate on what you know your customers, your colleagues and your bosses actually want to buy.

ABOUT MARK JEFFRIES

Mark JeffriesMark Jeffries has been connected to the IBM Business Analytics community for a number of years. He has hosted several of our annual user conferences and internal meetings.

Former Merrill Lynch stockbroker turned author and Keynote Speaker, Mark Jeffries, has become a trusted adviser and communications consultant to some of the world’s largest and most successful organizations. He speaks at and moderates conferences, summits, sales meetings, user forums and conventions all over the world for clients including IBM, Ernst & Young, SAS, HP, Zurich Insurance, Gartner, Microsoft, Royal Bank of Canada, Merrill Lynch & Bank of America.

With his depth of event experience, many of Mark’s clients now also use him as an an event consultant, working alongside the production team to create an event with audience appeal, a memorable impact and an effective message.

Dividing his time between The United States, Canada and Europe, Mark’s ideas, inspiration and guidance are sought across virtually all industries.

www.markjeffries.com