Selling Yourself

I was told (several times) throughout college that it was important to be able to “sell yourself.” I don’t like this term because it makes me feel like a slab of meat. But, really… we’re all for sale. That is what an interview, a networking luncheon, or a business card exchange is for: to get people interested in paying for your goods/ services (I won’t even get into the obvious connection of prostitution here).

Earlier this week, I was introduced to an executive at a third-party vendor company. I was introduced as the operations person who “would be making the final decisions” on the source for our team’s uniforms. The executive shook my hand and, instead of just handing me his business card, handed me an entire portfolio.

I got back to my desk and examined it. The portfolio was personalized with their logo, leather-bound, with note paper inside. In the slot made to hold business cards, the man had placed his information. Also included were some pamphlets giving greater detail about their company.

I thought this was brilliant for several reasons:

  1. He gave me a freebie. Who doesn’t love freebies?!
  2. It made him memorable (as the guy who gave me a freebie)!
  3. It demonstrated one of their services: personalized portfolios for our team.
  4. Now I want to use them (for potentially more freebies)!

After realizing what a good technique this was, I realized that this guy was a pro at self-marketing, or selling. I’m going to try to learn from his expertise.

Maybe I’ll hand out some t-shirts with my professional information on them. Everyone likes free t-shirts, right?


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