What makes you unique?
I recently had a meeting with a business coach when discussing an idea I had that would hopefully be the beginning of the rest of my life. After about an hour or so of getting torn apart, piece by piece, on why I did this and that, how I want to come across to people and such like, we came around to the realisation that my personal sales pitch was wrong.
What do I mean? And how can you not sell yourself correctly?
Well its simple, I'm a problem solver, quick thinker and ultimately can resolve issues and help people even if it means telling them what they don't want to hear. But...this is where it gets interesting, I was asked why I want to consult for small businesses and why I would be good at it. My answer was something as follows,
"I really love to understand the business, the owners and really care why they have put so much passion into it. For me it is all about building empathy, understanding the individual and appreciating they may have other personal troubles that are preventing them from reaching their goals."
This is 100% true but no one would buy it! Why not? I asked myself. Well if I said that in a strong South London accent, forthright in approach and at 100 words a second, with no subtleties on accents or enunciation (which is what I did), my sales pitch was shot to pieces.
I'd taken the wrong approach. Do I need to show someone that I care about them if they are in need of help, structure or guidance? To start off with not entirely, in the long-term maybe but by that point they will know you for who you are.
This is when the realisation set in that I should sell myself for who I am, appreciate my audience and tell them why I'm good enough to help them or work for them. This is where my discovery into personal USP's started. This is a tricky task and by no means a quick one, it involves asking many questions, followed by more questions to get to the true answer; the key is not to dwell on who you want to be! If I wanted to be Alan Sugar, am I going to have the same USP's as him? Very unlikely!
The current buzzword for this is 'your brand' and like anything brands change. Yours will change with life experiences, family events and sometimes with circumstances. The key at any time is to sit back and assess whether these external factors are preventing you from being who you truly are.
Here is an article from HBR that you may find useful in doing this and by all means get in touch with me if you want to bounce around some ideas.