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Sell Yourself First

The next article features a business transcript talking about selling yourself first with a top pharmaceutical sales rep, Mickey Michalec, and Clay Clark, US Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year, on Thrive15.com, one of the best business schools in Florida!

Clay:                And you've thought about it too. Obviously this is an exercise, we're not going to get caught up in the semantics if its 77 seconds or 60 seconds, but the idea is you know what you're about. 

Mickey:           Absolutely.

Clay:                You know what you're for and you know where you're going.

Mickey:           Yeah.

Clay:                It seems to me as though most people don't the answer to that stuff.

Mickey:           Correct.

Clay:                They don't know who they are. You just said, You're not willing to sacrifice family for business success. You also said that this is where you came from. You played college basketball and that wasn't good enough, you wanted to do something else. You know that, and I would challenge anybody watching this right now, you want to come up with your 60 commercial. Who are you? Where are you from? Where are you going? What are you about? If you can tell people that you're ahead of the game.

                        The other day I interviewed a lady for one of our businesses who she wants to work at the hair salon. They were short staffed so I'm interviewing the girl and I said, What are you goals? I don't know. Well I'm almost done with the interview at that point. I don't even know her name at that point. What are your goals? I don't know. If you don't know your goals it's going to be hard to keep you motivated because you don't know where you're going. It becomes a very frustrating cycle. This is huge.

Mickey if we're going to write this one minute television commercial to tell the world what we do, how do you what you're about? How did you figure that out? You grew up; your mother attempted suicide. You had a rough background. How did you decide what you're about?

Mickey:           I stopped and I reevaluated my life and where it was going. I had a moment; I had a crossroad where I recognized that if I continued in this lifestyle that I was living I was going this way. That's not where I wanted to go. I wanted to be here and I didn't know how I was going to get there, but I had an end result that I wanted to be, and I was willing to do what it takes to get there.

Clay:                You at some point decided this is what I am about?

Mickey:           Yes.

Clay:                Why is it that most people don't know what they're about? What is that all about?

Mickey:           I don't think they know who they are first. They always have been defined by somebody else or something. Oh you're a small town guy Clay. Oh you're a just a deejay. Oh you don't know how to do math really well. I don't know if that's true or not, but if someone speaks that into your life and you accept it you're being defined by somebody else and you're allowing them to drive your path.

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Clay:                Now as we do these commercials one thing we want to think about is want to cope with three differentiators that make our business unique, or make us as people unique. If you're a person out there and you don't have a business, you want to know what makes you unique. If you're a business owner you want to think of the things that makes your business unique. You said former college basketball player. You said you're a family guy, and you said you're willing to do whatever it takes, you'll run through a wall if need be.

                        Why do we have to know what makes our product or service unique, or makes us unique as people. Why do we have to know that?

Mickey:           I think because the markets saturated in any product right now. Everybody thinks if I just open the doors they will come. I'm here to tell you today if they have five options and all those five options are melancholy vanilla they're the same. How are you expecting for yours to be successful over the other four?

Clay:                I think a lot of it when we want to be different we worry that we're going to irritate some people. Seth Godin, bestselling author, the author of the Purple Cow, he says, If your product or service is not remarkable it's invisible. I see it all the time in the medical industry, you do too.

Mickey:           Yeah.

Clay:                I see it all the time in every other industry as well, where people are so worried about being remarked about in a bad way that they refuse to be remarkable at all; they're just vanilla. What would you say would be, what would be a way for you if you're somebody right now and you're watching this and they're kind of stuck and they don't know how to cope with three ways to make themselves different. How would you recommend someone get started if they're kind of stumped?

Mickey:           Find out who you don't want to be first. You've got to find out who you don't want to be before you can find out who you want to be.

Clay:                That makes sense.

Mickey:           It's very easy to look and say, I really don't to be a knowing, I don't want to be a guy who looks like this. I don't want to be a guy that constantly looks desperate. Let's take those and let's put those aside. Who are people that I see currently that I want to be like and what do they do?

Clay:                I've seen businesses too; people like to use safe words. It seems like they're being different but they're not. Here's an example, they'll say, At our company we're professional. We have great customer service. We're high integrity. You can count on us. That doesn't make you different.

Mickey:           No.

Clay:                There aren't really too many companies out there being like at our business we're not really professional, and you couldn't really count on our customer service. But we have a low level of integrity so it's okay; there are very few people that say that. It's important that we don't use those kinds of words. Do you see that a lot in the businesses you work with where they say, Such and such dentistry, we're professional, we have high integrity. Do you see that a lot?

Mickey:           I see it a lot. The example I give is that if you have your day off, and I'm going to take it back to the salesman's level. If you have your day off at home Clay and that doorbell rings and it's a little kid and he's selling a candy bar for NFN. And you say great I used do this I'll buy a candy bar here's a dollar and you buy it. You go back and you sit down. Now it's your day off. All of a sudden that doorbell rings again and it's a little girl. You say, Hey I bought one from the little boy, I'm going to buy one from a little girl. Then the next one comes by and rings the doorbell again and it's a little athlete, and you want to support athletics.

                        By the time the doorbell rings for the tenth time on your day off what are you going to say to them? You're going to be so annoyed because this is your day off. Let me tell you; your customer, their job is not to talk to you. Their job is to run their business. They've got the doorbell ringing ten times. What going to make them stop and talk to you compared to the other nine people that have come in that day?

Clay:                I love that and I've heard it called the clutter of commerce, but there's so many people trying to get your attention that it's a clutter. I love what you just said there, that's powerful. 

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