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Selling Yourself as an Entrepreneur

By: Matthew Strawbridge - Updated: 7 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Entrepreneur Business Clients

Being a successful entrepreneur goes beyond the effective marketing of your business. You need to be able to sell yourself too, to present yourself in a favourable light when you meet clients, peers and investors. If you can do this, people will be more receptive to what you have to say. This article presents some tips to help you sell yourself successfully.

Dressing the Part

If you are meeting someone you wish to influence – a customer or an investor – then dress to inspire confidence. If you’re a household name then you can get away with wearing whatever you like, but for less well-known entrepreneurs there’s a lot to be said for dressing smartly. You take your work seriously, and a smart appearance suggests that you are professional and trustworthy, especially if you are meeting someone for the first time.

You may also find that dressing the part will raise your self-confidence, improving your communication with the people you meet.

Self-Confidence

Some people are naturally outgoing and self-confident. If you are a shy person, you need to overcome this personality trait. A big part of being an entrepreneur is the selling, and you can’t do this by mumbling and not making eye contact! Neither will you make a good impression if you are too brash. Instead, you will achieve much more if you can approach people in a confident, friendly manner and be able to put your case strongly while still taking the time to listen to other people’s points of view.

A smile and a strong (but not bone-crushing) handshake can make a big difference to the tone of the conversation that follows. If you can build a rapport with the people you meet, they are more likely to be receptive to what you have to say.

Knowing Your Business

If you wish to be taken seriously as an entrepreneur, you need to know your business in detail. Investors will quiz you about your finances, and expect you to be able to recall the figures. Potential clients and customers will ask you about the specifications of your various products, and you are more likely to be able to sell to them if you can answer their questions on the spot.

Not only do you need to know your products and services, you must believe they are the best in your chosen market. Not just say they are the best, but actually believe it. This is fundamental to being able to confidently sell yourself and your business to other people. If your offerings aren’t up to scratch, remedy this right now – as an entrepreneur, you have the power to do this.

The Benefits of Selling Yourself

If you can successfully sell yourself, you will inspire confidence in others about your company and its products and services. A meeting with you could well be someone’s first encounter with your brand, and you want to give them the best first impression that you can. Good communication skills will make your job a lot easier.

It doesn’t matter how much you spend on marketing, if someone meets you face-to-face then this will take precedence. If they like you, they will work with you; if they don’t, they won’t! Your self-confidence might just tip the encounter in your favour, closing the 50-50 sale, or getting the borderline loan agreed.

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