You never know when a “sales” opportunity will show up – in a job or in your life – and sometimes in the darndest places! Sales isn’t always about selling a product – it’s about selling YOU – including embracing an opportunity that seems completely hopeless. You never know what good can come out of bad when you have the right attitude and keep your eyes open for opportunities.
One of my friends found herself in a very “bad and awkward situation, but managed to make a win out of it! It was her first day at a new job that she was very excited about. She was entering the breakroom when she heard two people in the human resources department talking about how she had been an accidental hire! The HR department wasn’t supposed to have called her to offer her the job. So when she showed up, everyone was surprised!
Can you imagine how that felt?! Most of us would go run and hide – and maybe even quit! Am I right??
But here’s what I love about her: She has a win-win attitude. Instead of feeling defeated, she felt like she’d been given a gift. She absolutely knew she was the right person for the job and brought a lot to the table. But, she realized she needed to sell her talents to the team.
She kept her chin up, did the job like they wanted her to, but also incorporated small changes – at first to her own duties, but gradually to the team and company. Each day, she added to a list of how she could improve a process or method at the company. Soon, she had a legal pad full of new ideas that would fill “gaps” she noticed in operations. Within six months, she had the full confidence of the CEO and was given nearly full power to make changes how she saw fit. It was exactly where she knew she wanted to be and could do the most good for the company.
In my blog about knowing what you want, I stress the importance of having enough self-worth and planning to go get what you want. My colleague knew her worth. But it doesn’t stop there. Knowing your worth and making sure you can ‘sell it’ to others is key. And that’s exactly what she did.
She saw an opportunity to stay in a great job and help others as well. She looked for chances to show her worth and share her talents.
Here’s how she did it:
- Help someone else. It’s a win-win when you help someone fill a need, even if you don’t need anything in return. My colleague chose to look for opportunities to help her colleagues with projects that she knew she was capable of and could add value. So, these were things that her boss hadn’t even hired her for.
- Look for common ground. Find out what the other person likes or wants, then look for the opportunity to meet their interest with something that matches your own. My colleague had a plan. She knew the company wanted to grow and expand so she kept an eye out for common interests among colleagues that she could chime in on or offer her two cents to help that plan along. In fact, she mapped it out on a legal pad. She included notes about the culture of the company and her bosses and peers. She looked for commonalities and then offered assistance (did you see #1 up there …noticing a theme?)
- Ask. After she and the CEO got to know each other and built trust, my colleague presented her legal notepad. She invited the CEO into a win-win situation.
Either way, they both got what they wanted in the end. It wasn’t just because she had something to prove after hearing the conversation in the breakroom, it was because she knew how to leverage a win-win situation. She knew how to sell herself and her talents to her colleagues (and boss!)
Remember: It’s about really seeking to understand the needs of someone else then finding a win-win for yourself and the other person.