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How To Sell Yourself(Arch Lustberg)

How To Sell Yourself(Arch Lustberg)

Product Summery

COMMUNICATION IS THE transfer of information from one mind to another mind, or to a group of other minds. It can be in the form of an idea, a fact, an image, an emotion, or a story. It can be written, spoken, drawn, danced, sung, or mimed.
Whatever the medium, if the message doesn’t reach the other person, there’s no communication, or there’s miscommunication.The simple premise of this book is that every time you open your mouth, in order for communication to happen, you have to sell yourself. If you  don’t sell yourself, communication is nearly impossible. If you do, your message will get across.
We think of selling as being product-oriented. But that’s only one aspect of selling. In the case of product sales, the governing factors are usually the salesperson and the price. Even when there’s a slight price difference, we rarely buy any big-ticket item from someone we  really dislike.

Ideas aren’t much different. The only time we pay close atten-tion to an idea being communicated by someone we don’t like is when we have a heavy personal or emotional investment in the subject.
I grew up in prehistoric times when ice was delivered by a man in a wagon. Frigidaire was the generic name for electric and gas “ice boxes” because it was the only one. There was no television. Think of television! Phone calls were made by calling an operator. Most  public transportation cost a nickel. So did a Coke.Underage smart-alec kids could buy “loosies,” single cigarettes at a penny apiece. What there was of an upper middle class could buy a new car for $500. That was big bucks then. That was the time when the  voice was the critical communication tool. Radio was the mass-communication medium. The political candidate boomed his message from the rear observation car of the train.Then, without warning, the industrial revolution evolved into the technological revolution.
Today, everyone around us seems to be carrying a personal palm-sized telephone. The laptop computer is almost a required piece of carry-on luggage. The beeper makes civilized conversa-tion nearly impossible. It seems that nothing is out of technologi-cal reach.

But somehow, there has never been anything to replace the handshake, the hug, and the “hello.” Face-to-face communication is still, and is likely always to be, irreplaceable. Whether it’s one- on-one or one with a group, the personal touch is a powerhouse.The  keyboard will never be a complete substitute for the hu-man face, body, and voice. Yes, the machine can take us into new adventures, but if it ever actually replaces our interpersonal rela-tionships, we will have become machines ourselves. Robots. Me-chanical  replicas of human beings.

The child in school won’t become a better person because there’s a computer at every desk in the classroom. Loving, caring,giving, sharing parents, teachers, and administrators will always produce a better-quality next generation. A mouse will never re-place a mom. Not even a Disney mouse.

There was a time when I believed that teleconferencing would put airlines and hotels out of business. I’d have bet money on it. Iwasn’t thinking straight. In fact, not even the horrendous Septem-ber 11, 2001 disaster could stop people from wanting to “work the crowd” at  meetings, conventions, seminars, and retreats. I’m more convinced than ever that it’s even more important that we do some essential things together. In the same room. At the same time.Networking in the form of personal contact will never go out of style.
Many companies that decided to save money by selling to old customers via phone, fax, and modem soon realized that their sales and bottom lines were getting killed by the competitor who kept the sales force in the field calling on the client. Whether it takes place in  the office, over a meal, on the golf course, or at a gathering, “hands on” is the final arbiter in a lot of situations. And don’t forget, candidates for public office are still pounding the pavement, knocking on doors, and pressing the flesh. No question about it: Television  commercials are still considered the key to getting elected, but the candidates have never stopped going door-to-door, to the factory gate, the bus or subway stop, the diner,and every place else people congregate.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not bad-mouthing technology. It’s certainly taking the world by storm, and it has only just begun.As the early pioneers of the automobile couldn’t conceive of jet travel in the air, we’re ignorant of what’s ahead 20 years from now. Ideas that took  thousands of years to become reality are achievable in seconds

.The danger is that, as we become more sophisticated at the keyboard, we’re becoming almost helpless communicating by mouth.
I’m not unaware of the success of shop-at-home programs,interactive television, and those jobs that eliminate the chore of commuting and allow people to work out of their own homes. But pretty soon all of us feel a need to make contact with another real live adult  human being. Companionship is an idea that will never go out of style.

That brings me to the substance of this book. The more de-pendent we become on the new age of technology, the higher the speed limit goes on the information superhighway, the more bytes it takes to digest a feast of facts, figures, and statistics, the more pressing  will be our need to speak well.
After all, every time you open your mouth to speak you’re doing the equivalent of selling yourself, whether the communica-tion is:

• Exchanging a greeting.
• Talking on the phone.
• Chatting with family, friends, colleagues, strangers, or
• Speaking up at a meeting.
• Delivering a presentation.
• Interviewing for a job.

                                                                                                         How to Sell Yourself
 Running as a candidate for election.
 Testifying before a legislative or regulatory body or ajury.

That’s what selling yourself is all about. It’s getting your mes-sage across, sending the right signals that you’re saying what you mean and that you mean what you say. Understanding you should take no special effort on the part of the person you’re talking to.
Today, it seems as though everything is conspiring to make us do the wrong things. When I opened my business years ago, my first call was from the Yellow Pages. The representative told me I was entitled to a free listing. I asked what my options were and got six or  seven categories. I picked the one I thought was perfect. I chose “Communications Consultant.” Today, I’m getting calls to fix fax machines. Technology has taken over and replaced the real person.

It’s become frustrating to call a company that depends on cus-tomers for business. This is what we’re hearing more often than not:
This call may be recorded to ensure quality.
Please listen carefully as our menu has changed.
If you are calling 1.
For information 2.
If you want to report 3.
If you know your party’s extension, press it now.
For other reasons not covered, please stay on the line.
All our operators are currently serving other customers.
Your call is important to us, so please stay on the line.”

...Two minutes later...

“Your call is important. Please stay on the line. A repre-sentative will be with you shortly.”

This is progress?
This is communication?

The keyboard, monitor, e-mail, fax, modem, and recording are in. The voice is out. So when we do communicate by mouth, it often comes out exactly like “small talk.”
• “Hi.”
• “How ya doin’?”
• “Nice to see you.”
• “What’s new.”
• “I saw Joe yesterday.”
• “Right.”
• “Uh huh.”
It all sounds like the typical greeting on an elevator first thing in the morning. I call it “the non-greeting greeting.”The lack of animation that has snuck into “small talk” now dominates the world of spoken communication. And our role models offer little or no help. Pay  attention to the way the politi-cian or the CEO delivers a speech. The way the correspondent reads the news on television. The way the “expert” analyzes in the public forum. Or worst of all, the way the movie star delivers lines. If you pay attention, you’ll notice how  little color, enthusi-asm, or vividness are communicated. It all sounds exactly like “small talk.” A keyboard kind of dullness has taken over the whole world of communication. It’s not unusual that when a TV reporter says, “Three thousand people are missing in the flood,”  the words come out exactly as though they were, “I had a rotten cup of cof-fee on my way to work.” Monotony reigns supreme.A presidential radio address is a big snore.

The weatherperson speed-reads copy and may as well be re-citing the phone book.

I’ve been at more than one meeting and heard corporate CEOs say, “We’re delighted with the results this year,” and it came out exactly as if they’d said, “I’m having a serious digestive problem this morning.”
So why are we bothering to speak? What are we trying to say and why can’t we say it right? How can we get our audience to pay attention and take away the message we’re trying to deliver? After all, if we can’t do it right, why bother?
To answer these questions let’s go back to the first sentence of this book, to my definition of communication. “Communication is the transfer of information from one mind to another mind, or to a group of other minds.” In this age of high-tech healthcare, I call communication an information transplant. The communicator’s job is to perform information surgery on the listener. The same holds true for all the other communication forms I mentioned:written, spoken, drawn, physical (such as movement, gesture, dance, and  sign language). If you have nothing to communicate,don’t. The trick is to make the message immediately understood.The written word and the spoken word take on multiple duties.The meaning must be clear instantaneously. The feeling must be clear. The sub-text has  to be clear. One advantage the written word has over the spoken word is that the eye can go back over what the mind didn’t understand. When you’re distracted by a hair on the page, you can reread. When you come across an unfa-miliar word, you can look it up. More often than not, the spoken word gets only one chance. No one interrupts the State of the Union address and shouts, “Would you repeat that?” or, “What do you mean by that?” The same is true of most speeches.
These days good written communication is as hard to come by as good spoken communication. Many of the principles in this book that cover speech will also work for writing. But not all great writing lends itself to being spoken. Lincoln’s opening words at Gettysburg  (“Fourscore and seven years ago...”) wouldn’t work for today’s audience. By the time we figured out he meant 87 years,he’d be into “...shall not perish from the earth.” I question whether any speech other than a presidential inaugural could have gotten away with, “Ask  not what your country can do for you.”
To repeat, communication is about instant understanding. It’s about the audience, your listeners, going away with the message you intended for them.
Too many speechwriters are writing for posterity. They hope to create great literature. They either don’t know or have forgot-ten that the speech should be written for the speaker’s style and for the audience’s ear.
The spoken word is what this book is about, and it can be very tricky. You can have the best message in the world, but if you don’t present that message the way you intended it, you’re probably communicating the wrong message. I remember my father’s way of  praising my mother’s cooking. Somewhere mid-meal he’d look up without expression, nod, and say in a true mono-tone, “’s all right.” Anyone who didn’t know him would have as-sumed he was about to throw up. Had he been forced to write his opinion on paper, he’d  probably have written, “I really enjoyed the meal.” On the page it’s hard to misread that sentence, but spoken without enthusiasm, without inflection, without animation,it can sound like just the opposite.
Everything you do sends a signal to the audience. The way you look at me, the way you use your hands, the way you stand or sit,the inflection in your voice, all cause me to reach certain conclu-sions about you. This book is about the signals you send, how you send  them, and how your listener receives them.

English Books