The Desert of Arizona
Rainy 58 Degrees – 5:48 a.m.
If I had to nominate one approach for the “Please Don’t Do This” award of 2016, it would be selling yourself with a sentence like this one:
“You should hire me and here’s why…”
Now if you’re selling the world’s greatest stain remover, perhaps this is a smart approach. Maybe you should go around telling people about your product and telling them they should buy it.
But in the advisor situation, where you want to be (and are!) the expert, this approach simply isn’t the right fit.
In the Incomparable Expert world, we’re selling you. And the worst way to sell you is to ask people to buy you.
The minute you say that, you are on the defensive. You make the claim, you must prove the claim and defend against those who would invalidate it. And you don’t win on defense. Never defend, always offend 🙂
The secret: They have to want it. They have to want you.
When do people tend to want things?
- When they can’t have them.
- When they see others having them.
- When they see what happens when others have them.
I used to have a bad case of the starving artist syndrome. Artists starve for a lot of reasons, but the one I was best at was the “refusal to play the game” reason.
Somehow, I thought my “art” (music in this case) should be enough to overcome any lowly requirement to “sell” my art. Surely what I had was valuable enough to be sought after for its inherent value.
People want what they can’t have. People don’t appreciate what is freely available. There are reasons why this is the case, but we’ll leave that for another day.
For now, know the choice is to either play the game with the rules as they are at the moment, or sit on the sidelines and watch others play.
If you play, then the skill to develop is to learn how to attract.
Think spider attracting a fly NOT cheetah chasing a rabbit.
That’s pretty much the dynamic you want except that as the spider, you’re attracting the client and helping her NOT eating anyone for lunch or dinner.
But this is what it means when I say “engineering” attraction. This is the type of thing I do in the Laws of the Land projects I create for clients. It is a certain strategic approach to communicating your value in a way that leads the reader to selling him or herself on you.
When you do it right, you don’t have to say “come and get me,” because you develop a situation where they do it on their own.