Monday, June 15, 2009

Will you BUY me?

On Saturday, at the BEYOND IFE breakfast session with ‘Deolu Akinyemi, Temitope Akinyemi, Christian Love, and Joshua Adeyemi, I was asked to talk about myself – in the context of who I am now, and where I will be in 5 years. I also had the opportunity to hear about 30 bright people talk about their own visions too.

There were lots of curious opening lines, and there were some really attractive ones. There were some people I had to seek out after the session because their personal visions were tripping, and there were others that I blacklisted after hearing them speak. The ones who tripped me all spoke extensively about themselves, and curiously – the ones on my blacklist spoke about their products. Listen, when you are SELLing, if people don’t buy YOU, they most likely won’t buy YOUR product. For example, from what I gather - no employer wants a dishonest first class graduate.

Think about it. During an interview, you are trying to SELL yourself to the panel; at a proposal defence, you are trying to sell your idea; (on a lighter note) when you are asking a girl out, you are involved in SELLing yourself. I can remember hearing someone say he asked a woman to marry him while he lived in a one room apartment – and he would give her a house in VGC in 5 years – talk about SELLing!!!

As young professionals, we must develop an ability to project ourselves as ‘desirables’. (A desirable is someone who you want around, an available is someone who is just there...). On the rare occasion when you do not have anything to offer, you still must be able to convince your audience that you are just what they need.

Quite a lot of factors are involved in SELLing. First of all, you have to know your product, which in this case is YOUrself. You must start by establishing what your strengths and weaknesses are. This is often the easiest step.

Secondly, you must develop strong communication skills. Lee Iacocca said and I quote, “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, they won't get you anywhere”. It is not enough to know what your strengths are, you must learn to package and project them in such a way that they appear to minimize your weaknesses. This is very important.

Thirdly, you should never under-estimate the power of relationships. One important skill that every young professional should have is the ability to NETWORK. You should not SELL in order to get things from people; SELL in order to make friends and leave a strong positive impression on people (refer to my earlier post about personal branding).

I’ll be back soon with another post in this series, but till then -

“Make it easy for people to BUY your product (YOU), give them something they’ll ask for by name.”


  1. Igbodipe Iyabosile Anthonia16 June 2009 at 00:34

    great article.we are all growing.we must be desireable in all areas of life.

    kip up the good work.God is at work in u.d sky is ur starting point.

  2. Bring it on!
    Koye, just do your thing.
    don't get tired, don't get stuffed.
    now come to think of it... if you can't buy/sell your product, who will?

  3. @Koye, simply wonderful, a post.
    @deola kayode, if you can't buy or sell your own product, then it's meant for the dogs and not even all dogs cos some dogs have self-realization...

  4. hmmn....something they will ask for by name.thats a "food for thought".now i have a new topic for my "dangerous thinking" period.thanks.keep up the good work.