In a post I did on lifelong learning in mid 2009, I stressed the idea that successful people pay attention to information that may seem as if it has little relevance to them – they know that they might learn something that will help them create the career success they deserve.
Today’s post is about the information in a book that you might be tempted to overlook if you’re not a sales professional – or if you haven’t read the post on lifelong learning I mentioned above.
How to Win a Pitch, a very interesting book by Joey Asher, might seem like a book meant only for sales professionals. But it’s not. Some of my best career advice is that we’re all in sales, as we have to sell ourselves every day. We have to create positive personal impact to get people interested in us, and then we have to be good communicators to sell our ideas.
Joey presents five common sense fundamentals for becoming a persuasive communicator…
- Focus your message on the business problem.
- Organize your message around three memorable points.
- Show passion.
- Involve your audience in your presentation.
- Rehearse… Rehearse… And Rehearse Again.
I like Joey’s points – even if he has five instead of three. Just kidding. The important idea is to focus on a minimal number of points. Joey has five fundamentals for becoming a persuasive communicator. I have four keys to career and life success: Clarity, Commitment, Confidence and Competence. The fact that my four keys begin with the letter “C” makes it even easier for people to remember them. In my case, this was a happy coincidence. I don’t suggest trying to force alliterations or acronyms. If your subject matter lends itself to them – great go with it. If not, don’t force it.
I love Joey’s career advice about passion. He is 100% correct when he says that your voice is your first key to passion. It’s OK to sound as if you’re excited – you should be excited about the points you’re making.
I learned this the hard way. I once lost a job I really wanted because I didn’t let my passion for the job show through in the interview. Ironically, I made a conscious decision to act in a laid-back manner in the interview – you know, “We’re both professionals here. I’m calm. I know myself. No sense in over hyping it.” As it turns out, I was one of two finalists for the job. The recruiter told me that the hiring manager liked my skills and experience more than the other guy, but he hired the other guy because he showed more passion and drive. I’ve never made the mistake of not letting my passion show through again.
By nature, I am a passionate guy. I care about what I do. After that hard lesson, I let this passion show through, when I’m selling and when I’m doing my work. I have found that it’s hard to care too much. And, if I’m going to fail, I’m going to fail showing how much, not how little, I care. Joey Asher and I urge you to do the same.
I agree with Joey on the importance of rehearsals. As I often say – only half jokingly – “Preparation makes up for a lack of talent. That’s how I’ve gotten as far as I have in my life and career.” Prepare, prepare, prepare and you’ll become a better communicator.
The common sense career success coach point here is simple. Successful people are dynamic communicators. Dynamic communicators have mastered three critical skills: conversation, writing and presenting. They follow the career advice in Tweet 102 in Success Tweets. “We’re all in sales. You have to sell yourself every day. You need to become a dynamic communicator to sell your ideas.” Dynamic communication hinges on your ability to sell yourself. Once you realize that, regardless of your job title, you are a salesperson and that you need to constantly sell yourself and your ideas you’ll be ahead of the game. In How to Win a Pitch, Joey Asher suggests that successful sales people have mastered five fundamental skills: 1) Focus your message on the business problem; 2) Organize your message around three memorable points; 3) Show passion; 4) Involve your audience in your presentation; 5) Rehearse… Rehearse… And Rehearse Again. This is great career advice. Become an expert in these five fundamental skills, and you’ll be on your way to creating the life and career success you want and that you deserve.