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Live what you sell

Posted on August 7, 2008 in Marketing Strategies | Comments Off on Live what you sell

Live what you sell

sleepy Live what you sellA bit of advice I like to give deals with the importance of how your own life correlates to the work that you do.  Present yourself in a manner that is consistent with the business you maintain. To put it simply, live what you sell.  No matter how great of a product or service is that you offer, you won’t be effective in selling it if you are not an example yourself.

There was a situation at a networking event I attended a while back that really illustrates the point I’m trying to make.  It was a “speed networking” function, similar to speed dating, where everyone rotates five minutes with each other as a way to hopefully make more contacts in a smaller amount of time.  What it basically boils down to is a series of five-minute windows for people to either make a connection or pass you by.  First impressions are huge.

At this function, I sat down to meet with a woman who happened to be involved with a network sales company much like myself.  The first thing I couldn’t help but notice was her blase demeanor, totally devoid of any enthusiasm.  I was preparing myself for her to literally doze off to sleep at any moment.  After our quick introductions, I asked her the quintessential question “so what is it that you do?”  (When meeting someone new, I tend to guide my conversation more around the other person and less around myself, as a way to get a feel for whether or not my business would be of any use to them.)

It came as a shock when she replied that she made a living by selling a well-known vitamin supplement product, which has consistently been touted for its abilty to improve the energy and vitality in those who take it.

“How will these supplements benefit me?”
“Well, they like, umm… are supposed to give you more energy, and stuff”
How long have you been using them yourself?”
“Like over two years, I think”

Cut! …I think we all know how this scene plays out.  How effective was her pitch when she presented the opposite of every virtue of she claimed of her product?  I wasn’t expecting her to be bouncing off the walls with enthusiasm, but at the very least she could have said something like “I know I may not look 100% right now, but that’s only because I forgot to take my supplements for the past few days, see what happens without them?”

Live what you sell.  People don’t buy vitamin supplements for the great taste, they buy them for the results they are purported to give.   It was this woman’s job to try to sell me those results, and she failed in less than five minutes.   I cannot stress it enough – live your life in a way that is consistent with your business, or at the very, very least appear that you are.  Nothing kills word of mouth connections quite like hypocrisy.  For whatever reason, if you find it hard to do this, move on to something where you can!

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