I recently spent a week suffering from a lousy cold; all the coughing, snuffling and sneezing symptoms which send other people running for cover.
I also found myself apologising to people I’d come into contact with.
‘You must excuse me, I’m suffering from the cold’ would be my obvious statement.
However, instead of any sympathy all I heard was, ‘Oh, I’ve got it too, and my whole family’s had it and it’s a whole lot worse than yours. We were all close to death.’
Okay, so they didn’t exactly say the last bit but that seemed to be the underlying message.
But don’t you just hate these people. And it certainly is not the best response for people who want to be good at selling themselves.
They have to like you
To be a first class salesperson or a successful manager or just a good communicator, you need to be good at selling yourself and building rapport.
So when someone says, ‘You must excuse me, I’m suffering from the cold.’ It’s far better to say something like, ‘I’m sorry to hear that, it can be a real pain having the cold.’
Similarly, when some tells you about a holiday they’ve just had or about to take, don’t say; ‘Me too, I’ve been there, it’s great!’
Far better to say something like, ‘That sounds fantastic, I’m sure you’ll have a great time!’ Ask questions about the holiday, when they return, and how they enjoyed it. You could then go on to tell them about how much you enjoyed it when you were there but quickly get back to talking about their experience.
Selling yourself (or anything else) isn’t about talking about you or what you do; it’s about listening and understanding the other person’s experience.
So if you want to be INTERESTING then be INTERESTED!