The Green Sheet Online Edition
August 13, 2007 • Issue 07:08:01
You are the sunshine of your life
||Nobody can be exactly like me. Sometimes even I have trouble doing it.
– Tallulah Bankhead|
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,
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
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
This is not to say you shouldn't
compromise. Flexibility is essential
to working with others toward common
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.
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