A Thing
The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

August 13, 2007 • Issue 07:08:01

Inspiration

You are the sunshine of your life

What do you offer that no one else can? Yourself. Your competitors may tout similar services; some may even rep the same products. But no one can be you, except you.

When it comes to offering this exclusive service, you'll never have competition. Only you can offer your brand. No one will ever be able to replicate you, even if human cloning becomes possible and legal someday.

Sure, we all need to be professional and wear the appropriate attire. But if you deviate too far from your true self, it will show. You will look awkward, uncomfortable and fake. This will exhaust you over time. And you won't fool anyone.

So, don't merely convey an image of what you think you should be or what you think others want to see. When dealing with your customers, prospects, potential employers and possible partners, relax. Your individuality is your best asset.

Do you want to work with a company that requires you to morph into what feels to you like an alien being? Of course not. Revel in your uniqueness, complete with skills, experience and even flaws.

Stick to your puns

Draw on your own inclinations as you tend to your customers. It will benefit everyone, including you. If you like to take care of people, nurture your merchants.

Check in on them in your singularly attentive way. If you teach by doing, roll up your sleeves and get to work.

If you are the jovial type and you try to become a drill sergeant because you think it will bring you respect and many sales, you won't pull it off. Your wisdom will fall on deaf ears.

If your friends always tell you that you are funny, let your natural jokester emerge. Don't go overboard and break into a comedy routine during an important presentation. But don't become unnaturally businesslike and stiff either. Slip in a few quips if it's your style. Be genuine.

If you are creative, put your flare to work on the job. Find new ways to help merchants maximize their sales. If you have nontraditional promotion ideas, share them. After all, this quality sets you apart from others who are less innovative. It is part of what your clients find appealing in you.

Don't eat humble pie

Just as you are a brand, you are also an authority on what's right for you. Trust your instincts. There may be times when working with a merchant feels wrong, but you don't know why. Trust your gut. You can walk away.

For example, if a merchant referred to people in derogatory, offensive terms, you certainly wouldn't emulate that behavior.

Maybe the merchant is rude to customers, too, and has questionable business practices. If so, you don't have to alter your performance or attitude to fit in.

If you aren't at ease with the products or services a prospect offers, don't sacrifice your morals or ethics to bring them to market. It is often better to let the merchant choose another provider.

This is not to say you shouldn't compromise. Flexibility is essential to working with others toward common goals.

However, if you ever feel your integrity or ethics or just plain personality is at risk, it's time to re-evaluate and remove yourself from the situation rather than corrupt your values.

Remember, only you can offer the exclusive, one-of-a-kind brand that is you. And that is essentially why people choose to work with you. end of article

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