The 4 P's of Marketing Yourself: Product, Part 1
By Catherine Lang-Cline
There are millions of products on the market today. Yet somehow you are able to make choices as to what your favorite products are without spending much time comparing your options. What makes them stand out? What makes you choose them? It is the exact same process when it comes to companies making selections with vendors and their next employee. It is the one that stands out that gets chosen. With the competition being what it is, the question is, will it be you that they select?
Creating your strategy can be as easy as the 4 P’s; Product, Place, Promotion, and Price. Here we are going to talk about Product and the product is YOU. Here are some things to think about to get yourself ready— what we refer to as your “brand” or “image”.
Dress the Part
One of the first things I had to do before going out and shaking hands was to decide if I looked like the president of a company. I will admit that with some help, I did get there. So, go to a mirror and see how you look. Are you dressed in a confident and professional manner? You need to be dressed in a way that makes you look and feel confident because in essence, you are asking for someone to trust you and if you don’t look and feel confident, why would they work with you? You need to look like you can handle the job and that you can solve their problems. Nowadays, everything is pretty casual. Take that up a notch and stand out from the crowd. You know that you can look both cool AND casual. It is worth finding that balance because you’ll get an advantage if you give who you are meeting the respect they deserve. Find something that is flattering and comfortable and keep it simple. Create a “look” for yourself. Steve Jobs had a look. Jack Hanna has a look. Their look is a part of their personal “brand”. Pay attention to all of the details, they will want to work with someone that does.
Confident > Cocky
When you feel confident about a product you use, you talk very highly of it. How great it works, how it makes you feel. How do you talk about yourself? Come in with an attitude that is helpful and understanding. Introduce yourself with the confidence you have for your favorite laundry detergent. Talk about your strengths, your skills, your past work and how you can apply all of this to where they need help. Keep it confident, not cocky. Take on a tone that would make that other person want to hang out with you. Because if this all goes well, you will be hanging out a lot.
Research Your Audience
And before you get into selling you, get educated about the company you are visiting and the person that you are meeting with. If you can, do a little research on the web. If you can’t, look around at the environment and ask a few questions. People love it when you come prepared and flattered if you want to talk about them. You are selling you, but you also want to talk a lot about them. It demonstrates that you want to make this a relationship, you are not just selling something which makes people push back.
Attitude of Gratitude
Finally, your “product” should provide a friendly feeling, so smile and make eye contact. Think about how great this could be if this all works out. And always, always, always, thank them for the time that they spent with you. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way.
After all of this, what have we ended up with? We have someone walking in the room carrying their brand. They are confident, together, and have all of the skills that is needed to get the job done. Looking at a full shelf of products, you'll make their choice an easy one.