Thursday, August 18, 2011

How to Hone What You Own

Recently after a presentation I gave for a group of female financial advisors a young advisor approached me. I had spoken at length about the importance of creating and preparing a value proposition. A value propositions is similar to an elevator pitch. It’s an opportunity to tell another person the value that you bring to the table. To let them know how your experience, skills and expertise will help improve their lives or bottom line. This young woman was new to the business and felt because she didn’t have any real experience, she didn’t know how to go about creating a effective value prop or how to answer the question, how long have you been doing this? I often get this or related questions. So... here's my answer.

In another blog post a few months ago, I coined the phrase:  "Don’t fake it till you make it: Own it while you hone it. Nobody likes a fake." This woman’s question lends the perfect opportunity to talk about what owning it while honing it really means. First off,  it  does not mean  lying about your experience: which faking it till you make it might be misconstrued to suggest. What it does mean is that you should OWN qualities that you’ve exhibited and utilized ( no matter how minor the utilization)  in other areas of your life and talk about how these qualities connect, and add value to the current job  or position you are in or that you are seeking.

For example, this woman was young, she looked young there was no getting around that. But she had been a competitive college athlete. In her value proposition or when people ask how long she has been in the business, she can tell them the exact length of time she’s been in the business with NO APOLOGY. Then she can quickly transition to talk about how much time she’d devoted to athletics and how she applies the same determination, discipline and drive she developed playing  competitive sports to researching the market and staying on top of trends. She can talk about how being new to the business is an asset because she is passionate and has a lot of energy and curiosity which helps her find unique and creative solutions to her client’s problems. Remember, it’s not always what you say, but how you say it. Another more experienced financial advisor might rattle on about her years of experience but if she is not passionate and engaging and enthusiastic about her job;  her years of experience may fail to impress. Most financial advisors have access to the same or similar tools, products and services. What sets them apart is their ability to connect and engage the prospect emotionally. Their ability to allay the prospects fears and confidently address their needs. There are many qualities you probably already possess that may just need to be honed to fit the situation you’re in. Try this exercise to help you identify the skills you all ready OWN!

  1. On a piece of paper brainstorm a list of all the jobs you’ve ever had. INCLUDE Volunteer positions.
    • Add any activity you’ve ever participated in: Chess, athletics, debate, gardening
    • Then add any committees, boards or clubs you’ve been a member or officer of – ie. church group, PTA, community organization. (FYI.  I honed the majority of my leadership skills as PTA president and as a leader in a religious organizations.)
  2. THEN take another piece of paper and on one side of the page, list all the qualities and skills you had to learn or utilize to be a part of all those activities on your lists. This can include skills you used during challenges as well as triumphs.
  3. On the other side of the page, list the qualities, skills and or job description of the current position you’re in or would like to be in.
Where are the parallels? How can you massage some of the skills you have into some of the skills you need for a specific job, career or position? How can you  HONE some of the skills you’ve used in the past so that you can truly OWN them in the present?

If you need help with any of these questions, shoot me a comment.

Have fun and happy honing!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for your comment!!