Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Even if you have strong capabilities, you still need to sell yourself

A mistake story from Kevin Liles, CEO of KWL Management, as quoted in Adam Bryant's Corner Office column in the New York Times.

I wanted to be the host of a new hip-hop show, and I didn’t get the job. I was the biggest guy in the marketplace. Given what I’d done, that should have sold me. But I didn’t sell myself. So, after that, I realized that no matter what I have done before, I had to learn the art of selling. I had to learn the art of explaining my value proposition when I show up somewhere. How do I differentiate myself? I know who I am. I’m very clear. If I’m meeting someone, I’m very clear about their value proposition, and I know what my value proposition is.

This is very good advice, and something I have trouble doing. I oftentimes expect my resume to sell me. I am proud of my accomplishments and expect that others would see the value in them, and connect it to their needs. But, as Kevin Liles says, that's not enough. I need to understand what they need and point them to what I can do to directly address that need.

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