How to sell yourself and why it matters

Columnist Ryan Windsor. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Columnist Ryan Windsor. Picture: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

Whoever you are convincing to support your new business, trying to get a contract for the service you offer or applying for your next job, you are selling yourself.

Most of us are selling our work, our services or ourselves almost daily.

Even people who are actively trying not to sell and play down their skills or achievements still tell a story, and show what kind of person they are. It seems hard to escape, people pitch.

And the truth is to get people interested it’s important to pitch well. Over the years I have learned to value a good pitch and I know many of my clients have benefited from getting their pitch right.

Many people find it difficult to sell or even detest sales-like behaviour.

There are great salesmen and women and from them we can all learn how to pitch by following their four rules of thumb;

Be compelling - to get people interested, you’ll have to be compelling. What is your story, why is your business different, why should I listen to you?

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Be clear and to the point - in most cases you only have a few seconds to capture your idea and convey in to your audience, make sure you focus and keep to the point.

Be relevant - value always beats price, make it easy for your audience to understand what is in it for them. Rather than focusing on features and cost, help the person you are speaking to see the benefit of hiring you, selling your product or supporting your business.

Tell a story - naturally we tend to remember stories better then facts so try to create an interesting narrative and keep the flow of the story throughout your pitch.

While using these four rules of thumb to create your perfect pitch, do keep in mind that no one pitch fits all.

It is important to shape your pitch for different audiences and take into account what will be interesting for them, what they could potentially offer, and the time they are likely to have available to listen to you.

And a final piece of advice, if you use a slide pack, remember that this should support your story, it should be a visual aid to your pitch, and is likely to have little value if it is anything other than that.

Good luck with that pitch!

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