Could you sell your own Granny?
We have all heard that expression but most of us think that this applies to those who are "sales" people. When I started work in IT I certainly thought sales was only something “those types of people” did. Over time I have realised just how important sales is for every job and marketing for that matter. We all have to define who our audience is and tailor our message for them. Then we need to convince them that we are credible and they should believe our message. It doesn't matter if you are front line sales, a techie or working in HR, sales and convincing people will always come in to it.
I have recently been running a PR tender for the SETsquared Partnership and watching pitches from PR agencies I was reminded of this. In the same way we teach our entrepreneurs to tell people what their USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is and sell people on solutions not technology - these rules can be applied to almost anything including PR. Agencies need to tell the client that what they are going to do that is different. Most PR companies provide similar services but in a pitch situation the client wants to feel that you have something unique to offer, you understand their business and can provide the PR solution that is going to take their company to the next level. Yes price and team will come into it in the same way as they do in an investment pitch but it’s your USP companies look for. After all clients are investors in your company, just as investors are in start-ups.
These rules also apply to you as an individual. As much as I might not like it, when in a networking situation and people say “what do you do?”, I am now selling myself. Can I convey enough critical information in less than 30 seconds to grab their attention? So think about it next time you are at a pitch, presenting to your management team, networking or just out socialising. How are you going to grab air time, ensure the attention is on you and people know why you or your project/business is different? Take a moment to think who is around you and the message you want them to take away. If you do, I am sure you will be soon selling not just your Gran but all your family!