have always maintained that we don’t sell ourselves enough. And let’s face it; selling yourself isn’t about simply flogging a product or service or trying to schmooze yourself on a disbelieving recipient. But about being adept on promoting ourselves in terms of one’s skills/a pet project or simply one’s abilities to perform a job. Engineering professionals tend to avoid any hint of salesmanship as it is considered demeaning and we think that at the end of the day technical excellence will undoubtedly convince a would-be client of our value. Sadly, this is not the case. As those of you who are experienced engineers working in the trenches know only too well. You only need to look at the ‘politicians’ in your business who often lack much ability to know how successful they are.
Some great suggestions (from Gavin Ingham) on how to distinguish yourself and your projects, products and services and convince others of their value:
- Ensure that you are adding absolutely extraordinary value to what you are offering someone
- Make sure you are the absolute engineering expert and know precisely what your product and service is about
- Make sure that you are in demand and that there is a market for your products/services and simply for YOU
- Take a long term view of what you are offering
- If you get an unreasonable response to what you are offering; simply walk away – don’t compromise your ‘soul for a mess of pottage’
- Carefully plan how you can add value to someone or their business or process - Who?/Why?/How?
- Practise what you are doing to absolute perfection – ensure you are highly trained, experienced and knowledgeable in what you are offering
- Demonstrate and have a deep abiding passion for what you are doing. Ensure that everyone knows about your enthusiasm and love for what you are doing. If you don’t have this; move on to something where you do have a passion
- Keep improving your performance so that you are top of your game.
Something worth remembering; when talking to disbelieving colleagues and clients about a concept or idea that you implicitly believe in; as Arthur Schopenhauer remarked:
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Yours in engineering learning