Let Them Know Who You Are

CEO, Ivy grad, mid-50s. Loves, French Gothic, Italian Renaissance. Looking for extremely intelligent, intellectually challenging woman. Photo a must.

This ad in New York Magazine caught my attention, enticed me to write a note (but not send a photo), and helped me find the man who has held my heart for 18 years. As some of you know this is how I met my husband Arthur.

I am not advocating that all of you run out and place, or answer, an ad in the personals (even though I have a number of clients who have met some wonderful people on sites such as Match.com). What I am suggesting is that as an executive, professional, business owner you work on creating those few sentences that describe who you are, what you do and what you want. Your goal should be to engage your listener and motivate them to ask more. Do you have a professional ad that works?

For years coaches have been pushing the elevator speech. You know, 30 second blurbs, the amount of time it should take you to ride to your floor and pitch your wares. Elevator speeches don’t work for me. They are just that, speeches, too long, loaded with jargon and not very personal.

So how can the shy, timid, humble or tongue-tied get their point across at a business meeting, a networking group, party or even on an elevator?

The ancient Greeks encouraged us to “know thyself”, and this is a good place to start. What is it about you that makes you unique, attractive, and interesting? I don’t know about you but someone saying “I’m a CPA or VP of Sales,” or any number of labels, or titles, doesn’t exactly make me want to shout “tell me more!”. On the other hand if you are working on the cutting edge of some technology, creating marketing programs for the best known people in the music business, saving lives or helping adolescents change theirs…those are the types of ideas that encourage me to stick around rather than run to the bar or bathroom.

Many of my clients’ coaching sessions focus on just this topic. We discuss how to get their message out in an interesting and clear way. Whether you are trying to switch jobs, ask for a promotion, get a date or meet the most interesting people at the dinner, you must know and use you USP. USP? Yes, your unique selling proposition. What makes you and your product or services desirable and different? Once you are clear as to your USP, you can then drop your insights into casual conversation taking what might seem mundane into the extraordinary.

So, here’s the challenge!

List 100 words or phrases that describe who you are and what you do. How do they make you interesting, special, quirky, top in your field, or all of the above?

Craft the list into some opening sentences or replies.

And then, practice out loud.

Go ahead you can do it. It just feels stupid, but it isn’t.

Jane Cranston is an executive coach, career coach and “The Job Search Expert” based in New York City. She shares with success driven executives and professionals techniques, skills and goal setting strategies that advance their careers, increase people management skills and assists them in career change or job search. Receive Jane’s free "Competitive Edge Report" and the free audio download “Creating a Career Strategy” by visiting www.ExecutiveCoachNY.com.

About the Author

Jane Cranston - Executive Coach NY (New York)Executive and career coach, “The Job Search Expert,” Jane Cranston understands the challenges and opportunities in the workplace. She integrates years of experience as an accomplished senior executive with global brand name companies, with the lessons learned from opening three successful businesses, and then applies her education and coach training. This sophisticated mix affords her clients her unique perspective, business sensibility, and entrepreneurial spirit.

Jane is the founder and Managing Director of ExecutiveCoachNY, an executive and career coaching business based in New York City with clients nationwide. She coaches success-driven executives and managers to develop a career strategy that accelerates advancement, increases compensation, enhances people-management skills as well as gets the competitive edge in all business activities.

Coaching with Jane is dynamic, structured, forward-focused as well as fun and inspirational. Working with clients in fields such as finance, technology, media and entertainment, real estate, and the law, she assists them in recognizing and achieving their full potential at work and in their personal lives.

Clients claim coaching with Jane has “changed my career focus,” “helped me better understand how to motivate my staff,” “given me ideas that have increased my income by $100,000s,” and “made me realize what is my part and what isn’t,” and claim coaching is “the best thing you could do for yourself.”

Jane’s soon to be published “Great Job Tough Times” is a step-by-step job search system designed to assist managers and executives looking for employment, or contemplating leaving their current positions, with their resume writing, interviewing skills, networking techniques, and negotiating need to get the right job fast.

Jane Cranston is frequently seen on CNN’s “Your Money” and quoted in nationally syndicated newspapers, magazines, as well as Internet article sites and virtual programs. She authors the free, twice monthly, “Competitive Edge Report.” Learn more on her website www.ExecutieCoachNY.com.


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