“Communication is the transfer of information from one mind to another mind, or to a group of other minds. It can be in the form of an idea, a fact, an image, an emotion, or a story. It can be written, spoken, drawn, danced, sung, or mimed. Whatever the medium, if the message doesn’t reach the other person, there’s no communication, or there’s miscommunication.
The simple premise of this book is that every time you open your mouth, in order for communication to happen, you have to sell yourself. If you don’t sell yourself, communication is nearly impossible.
If you do, your message will get across. We think of selling as being product-oriented. But that’s only one aspect of selling. In the case of product sales, the governing factors are usually the salesperson and the price. Even when there’s a slight price difference, we rarely buy any big-ticket item from someone we really dislike.
Ideas aren’t much different. The only time we pay close attention to an idea being communicated by someone we don’t like is when we have a heavy personal or emotional investment in the subject. I grew up in prehistoric times when ice was delivered by a man in a wagon. Frigidaire was the generic name for electric and gas “ice boxes” because it was the only one. There was no television. Think of it…no television!
Today, everyone around us seems to be carrying a personal palm-sized telephone. The laptop computer is almost a required piece of carry-on luggage. The beeper makes civilized conversation nearly impossible. It seems that nothing is out of technological reach.
But somehow, there has never been anything to replace the handshake, the hug. and the “hello.” Face-to-face communication is still, and is likely always to be, irreplaceable. Whether it’s one-on-one or one with a group, the personal touch is a powerhouse.
The keyboard will never be a complete substitute for the human face, body, and voice. Yes, the machine can take us into new adventures, but if it ever actually replaces our interpersonal relationships, we will have become machines ourselves. Robots. Mechanical replicas of human beings.
The child in school won’t become a better person because there’s a computer at every desk in the classroom. Loving, caring, giving, sharing parents, teachers, and administrators will always produce a better-quality next generation. A mouse will never replace a mom. Not even a Disney mouse.
There was a time when I believed that teleconferencing would put airlines and hotels out of business. I’d have bet money on it. I wasn’t thinking straight. In fact, not even the horrendous September 11, 2001 disaster could stop people from wanting to “work the crowd” at meetings, conventions, seminars, and retreats. I’m more convinced than ever that it’s even more important that we do some essential things together. In the same room. At the same time. Networking in the form of personal contact will never go out of style.
Many companies that decided to save money by selling to old customers via phone, fax, and modem soon realized that their sales and bottom lines were getting killed by the competitor who kept the sales force in the field calling on the client.
Whether it takes place in the office, over a meal, on the golf course, or at a gathering, “hands on” is the final arbiter in a lot of situations. And don’t forget, candidates for public office are still pounding the pavement, knocking on doors, and pressing the flesh.
No question about it: Television commercials arc still considered the key to getting elected, but the candidates have never stopped going door-to-door. to the factory gate, the bus or subway stop, the diner, and every place else people congregate. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not bad-mouthing technology. It’s certainly taking the world by storm, and it has only just begun.
As the early pioneers of the automobile couldn’t conceive of jet travel in the air, we’re ignorant of what’s ahead 20 years from now. Ideas that took thousands of years to become reality arc achievable in seconds.
The danger is that, as we become more sophisticated at the keyboard, we’re becoming almost helpless communicating by mouth.
I’m not unaware of the success of shop-at-home programs, interactive television, and those jobs that eliminate the chore of commuting and allow people to work out of their own homes. But pretty soon all of us feel a need to make contact with another real live adult human being. Companionship is an idea that will never go out of style.
That brings me to the substance of this book. The more dependent we become on the new age of technology, the higher the speed limit goes on the information superhighway, the more bytes it takes to digest a feast of facts, figures, and statistics, the more pressing will be our need to speak well.
After all, every time you open your mouth to speak you’re doing the equivalent of selling yourself, whether the communication is:
• Exchanging a greeting.
• Talking on the phone.
• Chatting with family, friends, colleagues, strangers, or clients.
• Speaking up at a meeting.
• Delivering a presentation.
• Interviewing for a job.
• Running as a candidate for election.
• Testifying before a legislative or regulatory body or a jury.
That’s what selling yourself is all about. It’s getting your message across, sending the right signals that you’re saying what you mean and that you mean what you say. Understanding you should take no special effort on the part of the person you’re talking to.
Today, it seems as though everything is conspiring to make us do the wrong things. When I opened my business years ago, my first call was from the Yellow Pages. The representative told me I was entitled to a free listing. I asked what my options were and got six or seven categories. I picked the one I thought was perfect. I chose “Communications Consultant.” Today, I’m getting calls to fix fax machines. Technology has taken o’ er and replaced the real person.
Chapter 1: Selling Yourself
Chapter 2: Selling Your Competence
Chapter 3: Selling Your Likability
Chapter 4: Selling With Confidence
Chapter 5: Selling With the Right Signals
Chapter 6: Selling Yourself As a Speaker
Chapter 7: Selling Yourself in Confrontation and Media Interviews
Chapter 8: Selling Yourself in the Classroom
Chapter 9: Selling Your Product
Chapter 10: Selling Yourself in the Job Interview
Chapter 11: Selling Yourself When Testifying
Chapter 12: Selling Yourself in Meetings
Chapter 13: Selling Yourself in Negotiations
Chapter 14: The “Selling Yourself’ Handbook
Download How To Sell Yourself : Winning Techniques for Selling Yourself by Arch Lustberg PDF