The Ability to Sell Yourself

How do you respond when a person says “Tell me about yourself?”

Photo Credit: just.Luc
“Tell me about yourself?”, Photo Credit: just.Luc

It might be called confidence, it might be called belief – do you let others see the best version of you, or do they see a dull, low-intensity, passionless version of yourself?

Why do we find it difficult to sell ourselves?

I spent the first 3 years of my entrepreneurial career selling insurance over the telephone in the spanish language. I picked up the phone 20 times each day and worked through my script. 3 years of this taught me 2 things: the spanish language, and zero fear of a “No”.

I got to practice hundreds of times how I present myself.  I got pretty instant feedback whether my way of presenting myself engaged the other person into a conversation, or got a quick hang up on the telephone.  Time and time again I learnt that “Hello, I’m Conor” was not a great start (to somebody who doesn’t know Conor).

At an Entrepreneurs’ Organisation retreat last month, the facilitator asked everybody to introduce themselves following a specific structure:

  1. What I want you to know about me is _________
  2. What I expect from these days is _________
  3. My biggest dream for myself is ________
  4. My name is ________

It made such a difference to the standard introductions.  The standard version that I hear day after day is something along the lines of: “My name is John…  from London.  I’m glad to be here.  I work as a lawyer.  Ahh…  I guess that’s it…   Oh yeah…  I am married.  We have 2 kids.  Yeah, that’s all.”

By the time John has finished, he has managed to bore himself about his own life.  He certainly won’t be someone I’d think of asking questions about life, business or his hobbies.

On my online course, Speaking as a Leader, the first big lesson is about how to answer the question “Tell me about yourself?”.  (You can sign up for the free course here).  You will hear this question hundreds of times.  Instead of John’s response, what would be the 100% version of your potential version?

What’s your answer to “Tell me about yourself?”

5 responses to “The Ability to Sell Yourself”

  1. Very good information Conor but it would be appreciated if you could give an illustration

  2. Good post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this
    subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little
    bit more. Appreciate it!

  3. I am a person that is glad to learn new thing all the time. My motto of life is something like: ,,You are young as long as you keep on learning”.
    And from here I will adapt my speech to the situation:
    -If it’s on an interview I will speak about my qualities suitable for that position.
    -If it’s a friendly conversation I will talk about my passions…
    – If it’s a new person I will begin straight with my new passions, hobby’s…
    Then will see what brings the conversation…

  4. My answer to this is: “Any specific part you’d be specifically interested in? What I like? What I do in spare time? What I work on? What I am passionate about?” As it is about selling yourself, I apply one of the ground rule: qualify the question, don’t leave it open ended…

  5. […] At an Entrepreneurs’ Organization retreat last month, the facilitator asked everybody to introduce themselves following a specific structure… […]

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