Editor note: This is a guest post from Ian Nuttal of leashoptional.com.

Before you can even think about selling products – information or otherwise – you need to first sell yourself.

Now I’m not talking about becoming a snake oil salesman that talks the talk and walks the walk but is only looking to sell the product that makes him the most commission and has no regard for you the customer.

Selling yourself is about building rapport, creating real connections, listening to the wants and needs of your customers and then providing the right solution for their specific problem.

The process itself is quite simple. Nothing really unique or innovative here. What makes selling yourself so unique is that few people will actually stick with the steps needed to build authority and have enough influence to sell without being slimey. To stand out, really stand out, you need to sell yourself in a way that nobody else can.

Sales is sales no matter if it is online, consumer, business, telesales, job interviews or talking to girls. The process can be taken and applied to any number of different opportunities. If you’re working for the man then you can sell yourself to get a promotion, make more money selling more products or just influence the hot girl in accounting to get that date you’ve always wanted.

Here are five unique ways to start selling yourself right now and getting what you want from life by being open, honest and passionate.

  1. Be you. The best way to do anything is your way. Start selling yourself to the right people by being yourself. You will then meet people that relate to you, understand what you’re saying and you’ll be more able to provide a product to solve their pain if you have – or have had – a similar pain.Furthermore, you will find that it is so much easier to relate with people and build real rapport by just being yourself. It requires less effort on your part and your customers will see you as an authentic and genuine person – making it far easier to sell to them later.

  2. Share yourself. I had a fantastic comment on a post about improving your innovation by Henri from the Wake Up Cloud that inspired this post. To be unique, stand out and sell yourself you have to share your mistakes. Share your successes. Share your failures. Share everything!There will always be someone out there who can relate to what you’re saying and the best way – the only way – to connect with them is by just sharing who you are. Ever had a salesman tell you “I’ve actually got one [the product] myself and it’s brilliant!”?

  3. Believe you’re worth selling. You have to be sold on yourself if you ever intend to sell yourself to others. Being confident and comfortable as you usually takes some time – it’s not an overnight fix. Here are a couple of ideas to get the ball rolling:

    • No more complaints. Once you stop complaining about things – including yourself – the glass suddenly seems half full again. It’s a wonderful way to discover how much potential you have as a person.

    • Do something outrageous (for you). Talk to a random hot girl in line at the movies or sing loudly in public for no apparent reason. Push your thresholds and be uncomfortable. You will soon start to see that you’re an awesome person.

    • Meditate. I’m not talking about sitting cross legged and repeating “ohmmmmm” for ten minutes. What I’m talking about is quiet reflection focusing on nothing but your breathing to allow all the chaos and negativity to leave your mind and body. You’ll be instantly happier.
  4. Ask questions, and listen! Building rapport with your boss, your customers and the hot girl in accounting is as simple as asking them questions and listening to the answers. This is how you build real, honest relationships with people. Ask someone an open question about a product/service/hobby/whatever that they are interested in and then sit back and listen to them talk your ear off about it.It’s worth emphasising the listening part again too. Once you’ve listened to their pains, you’ll be able to provide them with a solution. Whether that’s a product that solves their pain or a meal for the hungry girl in accounting, you’ll be better equipped to offer them exactly what they need.
  5. Smile. You can instantly change your mood, and the mood of someone else with a smile. You’ll find that people are much more open, honest and responsive to you if you are a friendly and approachable looking person.Online you can’t smile through a computer but you can talk in way that lets people know you’re a happy-go-lucky type of guy/gal. If all else fails; take your pick – :) :D ;)

One final tip: Don’t be afraid of offending people or losing customers because of who you are. Learn not to worry about what others think because as the old cliché goes; “Those who mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind.” You’ll find your peers if you just continue to be open and honest. Just be you.

Image by GiueraFashion