The story of who you are in your business along with how you entered your profession is fascinating.
Think of the last time someone asked you about your professional status. Did you rush through your answer thinking it tiresome to have to explain one more time? Did you give them your lifeless 30-second intro? Did you think that they don’t really care and are just being nice?
People do care and they universally love story time.
The age old sales adage holds true today:
“People do business with people they like.”
The easiest way to have someone ‘like’ you is to give them your inside story. Intrigue them with what brought you to being the successful business person you are today.
As they listen, they’ll see one of two things: 1) how similar your path has been to theirs which creates a bond, or, 2) how different your path has been which may impress them.
I’ve yet to meet a professional whose story is not in need of updating. If you want to make a stronger impression on prospects, and have more fun doing it below are some questions to ask yourself.
What did you want to be growing up? Did you want to be a model which led to your interest in design and now you are an artist? How did the city or environment in which you grew up in influence your professional choices?
What intrigued you to pursue this line of work? For example, do you like change so entered the technology field that is always changing? Do you have a passion for taking care of people so entered the medical profession?
What mentors did you have? Who inspired you? Was it an individual, company or movement? In what way did they inspire you? Did you want to be just like this mentor or improve upon their work? Conversely, did they inspire you to do the opposite?
Was there an ’Ah-Ha’ moment that changed things for you professionally? My ‘Ah-Ha’ moment: A major professional decision with far reaching consequences was before me. At the top of my game I was well aware of the vast support available for those climbing the ladder yet for those on the top rung, zip. I hired an executive coach. The process was exhilarating and led me to becoming one myself.
What were your early mistakes that are humorous in hindsight? Did you initially work for the wrong company which was disastrous? Were you too trusting? Too insecure or naive? What got you into trouble? Though mistakes are not your story’s main focus they make you human. People love hearing how others overcame adversity.
What successes impacted you the most? Were you rookie of the year? Did you sell more than anyone in your company’s history? Did you lead your company to the perfect solution to their long term challenge? Did you make a difference in a client’s life that they could not have experienced without you?
What intrigues or fascinates you about your career today? What keeps you coming back to work each day? Is it your industry? The people? The challenge? The opportunities?
I challenge you to polish your story and to tell it with zest. People will mimic your attitude when you share it. If you are bored or think you’re not all that interesting, they’ll feel the same.
Be excited. This is your story, no one else’s. It reflects who you are in your business and tells people why they should hire you. Your time spent enhancing it will be well invested.
Executive & Leadership Coach Ann Golden Eglé, MCC, has steered highly successful individuals to greater levels of success since 1998. Ann is President of Golden Visions & Associates, LLC, serves on the Board of the City Club of Central Oregon and can be reached at 541-385-8887 or www.GVAsuccess.com. Subscribe to Ann’s internationally acclaimed ‘Success Thoughts’ e-zine on her website.