When I arrived to college, I thought, “Yes! This is where I will make my legacy!” Like it was some kind of right passed on to me. Boy was I wrong. My first semester I decided to take 9 classes (18 credits in total) like that would somehow make people realize that I am capable of achieving anything. You get so suck in the marketed thought that “the sky is the limit.” My limit ended me in failing 2 classes, ending up with a 2.1 GPA, my family disappointed, and friends lost to the abyss of life. In the mist of it all, I lost the most important thing compared to any of the things stated: I most my self-worth.
Life will grab your expectations and crush them like some bug in the way. Life doesn’t shudder at that fact. After a less than wishful semester, I was ready to drop out of college; more than that, I was ready to take my own life. Why? Because the feeling that I had no value in life is like that of a constant, silent hiss of a serpent in your mind. But I took the first step out of that messy muddled mindset and just tried to push forward. That got me until last semester where it truly hit me. I’m not living if I don’t believe in myself. If you don’t breathe life into your dreams, goals, and life itself, you’re not living.
And then it hit me like a second train: If I dream high, I will fall again and the whole cycle will replay. Going through that again was straight out a NO. Then I literally stumbled upon my first selling class: Personal Selling. Mar 4400. Prof. Nancy. For those that don’t know her, she is a wonderful lady but I wanted to flee from that class like it was the devil. She spoke of selling yourself and promoting your skills and all the things I didn’t have a clue how to do. Worse, what on earth could I promote? I didn’t have a job. I had no experience in any field. I wasn’t the best student in the world. The only thing I knew how to do (and I’d get an A++) was to binge on a whole season of Game of Thrones in one day no problem. Like that was getting me anywhere. I will never forget her words though, “You have to put yourself out there!”
Now, I’m not the most outgoing person, and exposing myself even up to date isn’t the easiest thing to do. But I took her advice. I started to offer myself as tribute for competitions such as the FIU Sales Tournament and the AMA TekSystems Outbound Sales Competition. Yes, I mean tribute because going into these competitions, I felt like someone was on the other side ready to rip my heart out. Through all trials and tribulations, I made it: Semi-Finalist at the FIU Sales Tournament and Finalist at the AMA Teksystem Outbound Competition. What an honor to be the only FIU and AMA member to represent my college. How, might you ask? Simple. I incorporated the sales process into my life. Approach, Identification of Needs, Presentation, Objection Handling, and Closing. Now how does that even correlate?
In life everything that is new means you are Approaching it. How you present yourself matters. I constantly hear “fake it until you make it,” but I tell you otherwise. “Believe in yourself until you make it.” Believe in yourself because if you don’t, it doesn’t matter if the whole world does, you WON’T make it. Examine yourself and say what is of value? Value is that which makes you shine like a star, even if others are blind to it. And if people can’t see it, it’s because you need to let that light blaze. Don’t dime your inner light. Be proud of it! That’s what makes you different.
Next step, the Identification of Needs. The world is the child of needs. Everyone has needs. You, me, and the person next to you. If you can identify those needs and give that solution to them, you’re half way there. You just need to know how to present that. Conveniently enough, that the next step.
Sometimes it really all comes down to how you present it. Presentation goes to the eyes and then to the brain, and in the midst of all the exchange of information, you come to a conclusion in just a minute or two- just like eating. It could taste AMAzing and be the best conjunction of flavors and textures, but if it looks like something that came out of a witch’s caldron, you’re not eating it. Hence, you’re not buying it. Ultimately, you’re discarded. That’s how imperative your presentation to everyone is.
You might have made it this far, but here comes that one moment we all dread: Objections. Why do we dread it? Because at this point you know you’re being tested. And if you don’t know yourself best, they will know and that leads to an appearance of immaturity, self-consciousness, and inexperience. You are your own worst enemy. Because if you listen to doubt, it shows… It screams. At this point in your life, it’s OK to be immature, self-conscious, and inexperienced. We all are at some point. But it’s your responsibility as an adult to grow as a person and professional. Failure is ok, but the continuation of constant failure due to the SAME mistakes is not.
Closing. This is the point that you celebrate what you have achieved. You go you! Brava! You made it this far because you began to believe in your own value. That you are a unique, one in seven billion individual on this planet called Earth. Closing is just the act of writing your history, your legacy, down. If you know your value, you know how to sell it; and if you know how to sell it, you know how to market it! And if you are stuck somewhere in between, I hope this post helps you SELL yourself. And I hope that AMA will continue to be the AMAzing organization it is and teach you the master techniques to market yourself.
At this point, as this post comes to an end, I want you to accept who you are now and just identify where you are in your life. Find you Value. Learn how to Sell it. This process takes time and that’s ok, just push forward EVERYDAY. In the end of it all, you will be a professional that any business would be lucky to have.