EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I have to tell you that I come away from most meetings of The FENG considerably impressed with the wealth of talent in the room. Perhaps it is just me, but the experience that most of our members bring to the party is truly amazing.

The only problem that our members actually face is marketing their experience to others. Hey, if we were marketing experts, I assume we all would have gone into marketing. Unfortunately, we are accounting/finance types, and that coupled with our innate modesty appears to prevent us from bragging appropriately.

The other not so obvious “syndrome” is that we have a wealth of talent and experiences. Yes, I know I said that already and in a positive sense, but the little recognized impact of no longer being a blank slate is that we no longer can be made to fit into every situation. The number of choices we might see presented to us on a given day from job postings is by its nature going to be few and far between.

Mass marketing takes products that are usable to everyone and broadcasts their availability widely. It is appropriate to do so. Typically mass market types of products are low in cost.

Big ticket items on the other hand are at the other extreme and require personal selling. Boeing airliners and many other unique and high priced products need highly paid salespeople to cause them to be acquired by customers who need them.

If you have spent as much time as I have with members of the personal selling profession, you know that they do a lot of research on their prospects. The products they sell are not for everyone, so they have to identify the right people to influence and come up with ways to push their buttons and get them to sign on the dotted line. Like the top creative people in this world and well known sports figures, these individuals make a LOT of money.

You are a big ticket item. Each of our members is a unique product with skills and experiences only of greatest interest to a smaller number of “buyers” than when we were early in our careers.

Your goal as a personal selling expert in the product that is you is to work diligently in identifying appropriate buyers and then find ways to market your skills to them. The marketing part is easy in that you each have access to our membership directory to get you started. I know you won’t be shocked to find out that this part of the process is called networking.

The hard part is identifying appropriate buyers. No one knows your skills better than you do. Most people explain their background and expect others to know where their talents could be applied. An example of this is when I am asked to recommend some good recruiters. While it would be very nice to leave the marketing of your service to others, they don’t have as much at stake as you do.

The process of self-discovery of your unique selling proposition is a difficult one. But with your wealth of talent, I know if you apply yourself to this task, it is as good as done.

Regards, Matt

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