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5 things you can do to sell yourself in your workplace, business or broader career

Last Thursday was one of those crazy days (good-crazy, thank goodness and not silly-crazy!) that seem to happen only when all the stars and moons are aligned… It started with an interview on ABC radio, and ended with a conversation with Carla Zampatti.  And I learned a lot from both about selling yourself, and making it easy for others to sell you too.

The radio interview in the morning came off the back of an article in The Daily Telegraph, The Courier Mail and Adelaide Now, which featured news of the sphinxx survey of working women.  Nothing unusual there, except I didn’t find out about the interview til 10 minutes before it was to take place.  And by that stage, I was already on my way to the first sphinxx Brainstorming Breakfast with a group of loyal sphinxx supporters.

It would have been easy (and the truth) to tell the caller I was on my way to an important event and to pass on the opportunity.  But that would have meant missing out on a prime media opportunity to promote sphinxx and the work we’re doing to advance women as leaders.  So I kept on my way and – when the phone call came in – I just pulled the car over and took the phone interview on my mobile (yes, I do have handsfree but even that’s a bit of a hazard for me and my fellow motorists!).

Then with the interview out of the way, the car safely parked in its earlybird spot, and the brainstorming breakfast over, my full day of meetings was followed by a celebration to honour Carla Zampatti‘s appointment as a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC).  This event was hosted by Westpac and although I was exhausted by this stage, it was important for me to go along and support the event, because Westpac does such a great job of supporting sphinxx.

Of course it was a great night, with plenty of networking with Westpac’s clients and guests, all of whom are amazing businesswomen.  But the highlight was the opportunity to speak at length with Carla herself about what she thinks holds women back from realising their potential.

Now Carla Zampatti knows a thing or two about success… she’s certainly an Australian success story herself.  And what does Carla Zampatti think the secret of success is for women in business?  The ability to sell yourself, and to make it easy for others to sell you too.

Here’s my take on 5 things you can do to sell yourself in your workplace, business or broader career… and to make it easy for others to sell you too:

  1. Be really clear about what it is that you do, specifically.  You need to be able to explain to someone in 60 seconds what it is that you do and how it will help them, so have an elevator pitch and adapt it regularly to reflect what you’re working on right now.
  2. Share your successes.  People love hearing a good success story, and if it’s not yours it will be somebody else’s. Your success stories help to explain what you do well and how you can help.
  3. Accept invitations and turn up.  Every time you say no, you’ve blown a chance to blow your own trumpet. And when you do turn up, be present and perky.  No one really cares if you’re tired – and they probably are too – so focus on the positives and be easy to be around.
  4. Tell people how much you love referrals, and exactly what you’d like them to refer.  This makes it easy for them to keep you front of mind.  And if business is referred to you, be sure to thank the person who generated it.
  5. Finally, be easy to deal with.  People love dealing with people who are easy to do business with – who know what they’re doing and do as they promise.  And this sure makes it easy for them to sell you too.

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