Whether you have a product business or offer a service or are a published author trying to market your book, you can’t sell any of those things until you learn how to sell yourself.
Think of commercials. How many times do you remember what the product or service is during that 30 seconds? Unless you specifically want or need what they’re selling, most of the time people remember other things about what they see and hear. Haven’t you heard someone say something like, “Oh, what’s that commercial with so-and-so in it?” They don’t remember what that person is selling but they remember the actor.
I once heard that a company can sell anything if they use a kid, especially a cute kid or a dog and especially a cute dog, or better yet to use both. People are more likely to remember the who than the what.
The same goes for your business. Who knows how many websites there are in the world? The competition is tougher all the time. Unless you are one of the big guys, it’s hard to get noticed and sell anything. So what can you do?
Sell yourself, not your product or your service. What is it about you that makes you different? People have so many choices for things, many times it comes down to who is selling it.
I started my Pencil Bugs business at age nine. In the beginning, I held many sidewalk sales where I would get a store’s permission to set up my table outside and sell my Pencil Bugs. Even at that age, I quickly realized that many customers bought my products simply because they wanted to support a kid’s business. Did they really need a pencil topper? Probably not but before long, people knew my business because of me — “the Pencil Bugs kid” and that was fine with me. Looking back, I now see that I was also building my brand.
Selling is an art. It’s who you are that matters and that is what will make people stand up and take notice.
My grandpa has a saying that is a perfect sales analogy. “Old Harry could sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo.” It’s the person who makes the difference, not the product. Well, you get the point. And if you haven’t bought my new book yet, Bitten by the Business Bug: Common Sense Tips for Business and Life from a Teen Entrepreneur, I share a lot of Grandpa’s wisdom in it. You can read excerpts from my book using Amazon’s Look Inside feature if you’re interested. Then buy a copy on Amazon or get an autographed one from my website. It’s a fun read for all ages. A portion of all sales is donated to help kids at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, CA. I also have a big teddy bear fundraiser I do for the kids at Christmas. If you want to read more, visit The Bears Are Back in Town.
So do you need a pencil topper or another inspirational book or have you already donated your limit for this year? It’s not about the products. It’s about the person behind the products. Thanks to everyone who continues to support me, my business, and my charitable efforts. Because of you, I have been able to encourage other people of all ages to try their ideas. It’s good karma.