When you introduce yourself for the first time to someone you just met in a networking session, how will you sell yourself?
Think, and go through your self-introduction speech in your head before reading on. There’s a reason for this suggestion.
The conversation probably goes like this:
John: Hi, I’m John Smith.
Harry: Hi, John, I’m Harry Jones. What are you doing?
John: Oh, I’m in the insurance industry.
What do you think will happen if Harry’s mind has been programmed and conditioned by parents, siblings and friends that insurance agents (a.k.a. financial planners) always use fear tactics to get people to buy a policy that they don’t need and don’t want? Or, what happens if Harry has an unpleasant past experience with a hard-selling pushy insurance person? Either way, this conversation will either be terminated prematurely or be channeled to a safe subject by Harry.
Who is on the losing end?
Naturally, it’s John. Yes, John just lost a one-to-one, face-to-face opportunity to tell Harry of the values, benefits and solutions that can make Harry ‘s life easier and better.
However, Harry is not on the winning side either.
It could have been a win-win scenario had the self introduction of John went this way.
John: “Hi, I’m John Smith.”
Harry: “Hi, John, I’m Harry Jones. What are you doing?”
John: “Harry, do you know there’s more than 60% of seniors in this country cannot afford the large medical bills when they fall sick or injured? My main focus is helping seniors aged between 70 and 85 to minimize, or even eliminate 100% of their medical expenses.”
Harry has an ailing mother of 72 and he is still paying the exorbitant medical bills when the old lady was hospitalized for five and a half month when she fell twice last year. And, Harry never knew seniors could be covered until 85 years old. How do you think Harry will response? I bet he said, “Tell me more”.
What’s the difference?
1. “Problem” and “Solution”
When you don’t know you have a problem, will you want to buy a solution?
“I’m in the insurance industry” does not identify a PROBLEM that begs to be solved.
“Harry, do you know there’s more than 60% of seniors in this country cannot afford the large medical bills when they fall sick or injured?” clearly presents a real problem that many people in the late 30s, 40s and 50s can resonate with.
“My main focus is helping seniors aged between 70 and 85 to minimize, or even eliminate 100% of their medical expenses.” is the SOLUTION.
2. “Feature” vs “Benefit”
“I’m in the insurance industry.” is the “FEATURE”
“My main focus is helping seniors aged between 70 and 85 to minimize, or even eliminate 100% of their medical expenses.” is the “BENEFIT”.
3. “Selling” and “Buying”
We live in a world of demand and supply. One party gets to give and the other gets to receive. In the business world, it means, one must sell so that the other gets to buy. He has a problem and a pain, you have a solution to ease the pain. Perfect.
If you still say you are not salesman and therefore need not sell yourself. Well, just reflect if your presentation wasn’t accepted or you were walked over during the last promotion or job interview. The easy introduction that you used to use may not be serving you.