The guru of personal “elevator pitching”, Bill Faust, believes each of us has the power of negotiation, if only we can understand ourselves and our unique assets. The elevator pitch shifts the focus from your perspective to the employer’s or the customer’s perspective and from the past to the future. Widely held to be an expert in self marketing whose book, Pitch Yourself, has become the most widely endorsed CV (curriculum vitae) book in the world, Faust propounds personal pitching before you can pitch your products or services as the best way to succeed in marketing and sales. On a three-city tour of India, packed with workshops that moves on from selling yourself to your employer to selling yourself to your customer, Faust spoke exclusively to Hindustan Times about how effective self marketing can help in selling products better. Excerpts
Why should you sell yourself first before you can sell your products or services?
People buy people. If you can get a buy-in from your buyer, your product or service will be sold. In 14 years of experience in marketing for a range of blue chip companies, including GE Capital, Campbell’s, News Ltd, Bayard Press and BT, I’ve seen the power of effecting self pitching in marketing products and services. You need to creatively build a relationship with your buyer to sell him something. It’s not just about products and services that people can buy.
Given that you’ve traveled across the world during your marketing career and then as an expert trainer over the last 10 years, is there a difference in the way people market and sell themselves and their products?
There is a huge amount of commonality in what people do across the world. Most people try and think about what they are selling.
And that's not the right approach?
People have to get back to themselves. Mostly, people don't understand themselves — the way they think. So they don’t understand what it is that they can offer. The entire transfer of such self-understanding to the buyer involves understanding the buyer and what he will believe in, in order to buy the product you are marketing. Each of us is unique, with a set of traits or powers that are our differentiators and competencies. Transferred as negotiation and selling propositions, they can make winning pitches.
With the online world growing and drawing marketing efforts, does self-marketing retain the kind of importance you’ve been giving it?
Yes, certainly. Online is just another medium. No medium has died because of it. One thing that doesn't change is the core promise behind your marketing message — that of an assurance that the buyer derives value in buying into your proposition. That assurance happens in selling yourself before selling your product. As I said, people buy people. That doesn’t change.