Product to customer, idea to client, skills to the boss. What are you selling today? Here's a guide to make the world buy anything you want to trade
We are all salesmen. If the creative head at an ad agency or an IT engineer reading this, just went "huh?", let us explain. Why do you wear your best shirt at an interview or take your in-laws to the hippest restaurant in town? We do it because we are busy selling ourselves round the clock; to the boss, the wife, a potential lover, parents, even strangers.
Ranbir Kapoor plays an enthusiastic salesman in the just-released Rocket Singh
Marketing is intrinsic to the myriad situations that define life. True talent stays well eclipsed without it, and so do beauty and skills. So, if there's one product you must market with heart and soul, it's you. But that, again, is a tough game, because target clients are varied and often belong to spheres diametrically opposite to each other. That's where FYI steps in to come to your rescue, and help you get voted salesman of the year.
How to stick to integrity while you are at it
Believe in yourself: You can't effectively sell yourself if you don't value who you are. Have confidence in your abilities.
Share your knowledge: Knowledge is a valuable resource and it can make anyone seem more attractive. Sell your skills by sharing your knowledge.
Share your experiences: People are drawn to those who are willing to share their experiences.
Be authentic: Be genuine in your interactions with others and work to develop honest communication.
Present yourself professionally: Everything, from your appearance to how you speak, matters. It's always best to play it safe and follow formal business etiquette.
Be positive: Smile, show interest and be enthusiastic. Don't crib, engage in gossip. Keeping yourself upbeat will draw people to you.
What won't work
Begging: Use tact instead.
Bartering the body: Licking a**. Who wants to be seen as a s**ker with little skill.
Interfering: You don't have to be your client's daughter's best friend. Play professionally.
Fyi's expert panel shows you how to sell the impossible
Sell self to a stranger
Maintain cultural sanguinity, credibility
Ashok Bhat, personality coach and Director, Mindshare HR consultancy
Putting on a mask may help in the short term, but reality will come out soon. If you are meeting a stranger, maintain cultural sanguinity. For example, titles matter a lot to Arabs, which isn't the case with Americans. So, avoid doing things that will offend the other. Do some research on his background to help you be culturally in sync. Put your best foot forward, but maintain transparency too.
Sell fairness cream to a foreigner
Hire MJ as ambassador
Prahlad Kakkar, Ad man
If you ask me to sell fairness cream to a foreigner, say a blonde, I'll assign Michael Jackson as its brand ambassador. Amusing, amazing, effective. And I bet that would work!
The key to selling is underselling; you should be effortless, and no one should know you are trying to sell yourself. If you accomplish this, you fly high. If at a gathering, you start conversing on a topic, and take a potshot at yourself, you'll be the star of the show. Don't ever over-sell yourself, because no one likes the guy who tries too hard.
Sell self to potential lover
Arouse apathy, don't be a wannabe
Cyrus Broacha, VJ-actor
I have never sold myself. If you try too hard to sell yourself, you lack the magic. Everybody does their own thing to woo people; even a crab dresses himself in a jungle! But trying to be incredibly charming and wearing tight tees, won't impress anyone. If I were to ever convince a woman, I would persuade her to believe that I am pathetic to hang out with, and force her to dislike me. Maybe that way, she'd like me.
Sell self to showbiz
Dress deadly, act busy
Kamaal Rashid Khan, actor and Bigg Boss 3 participant
In showbiz, "Jo dikhta hai, woh bikta hai". A hero is one person in a crowd of crores, so, he must dress differently. People should say his style is deadly. He must behave busy, as if he has little time for people. He must drop by at events and escape on the sly, to prove he's short of time.
Sell self to in-laws
Be nice, but be yourself
Eesha Koppikhar, actor
I would not call it selling, but projecting yourself. Putting on an act won't work for in-laws because eventually, they'll figure who you really are. I'd say, go ahead and please them, but be yourself.
Sell self to the boss and peers
Stay glued to Facebook
Vivek Bahl, Senior Marketing professional and ex-chief at Ibibo
Social networking sites are good for self-promotion. Facebook is the best example; you can post updates on last night's party, what you like and what you don't, your best pictures, work links, notes and interests. The trick is to attract attention. You can try that with your phone too.