Tell them what they want to hear…

If you want to get promoted, land yourself a new job, or get a pay rise there’s one important angle you can’t afford to neglect. 

Whether you like it or not, people don’t care about how great you are, what you’ve achieved or why you should get paid more.  What they do care about is ‘what’s in it for them’ and if you fail to cover off this important point when you’re chasing after your goals you may well find yourself losing out.  Here’s how to make sure that doesn’t happen…

No-One Cares

Alright, so not everyone is completely self-centred, but when it comes to business if you want to be successful in your endeavours you need to use the blanket approach and assume that no-one cares.  Only then will you turn your marketing efforts up a notch and really give people what they need, instead of simply addressing your own requirements.  This approach will help many times in your career or business, and regardless of what you’re looking to achieve.

As great as your achievements are, or your level commitment, desire to do a great job, or any of your other merits you hope you’ll be recognised for, human nature dictates that we’re all programmed to pay more attention when someone tells us they can solve a problem for us.

Unfortunately, when it comes to applying for jobs or sitting in a performance review many people fall foul of this approach and instead spend far too much time focusing on what THEY want, and not what the person listening to them wants.    

For example, reeling off lists of extra responsibilities that you’re taken on at work won’t have the same impact on your boss as telling him or her how a potential promotion will solve a problem in their team or make the company more money.  The fact is that the actions required in both scenarios may be exactly the same, but the way you position yourself is completely different – the first approach is about YOU, the second is about THEM.

Another area where I see people fall into this trap time and time again is when they write their CV.  If an employer is recruiting they have a problem – they need additional staff for a reason, and if you can solve that problem then you’re one step ahead of your peers, who are probably too busy ranting on about their ideal career path to think about why someone is reading their CV in the first place.

Starting your CV with a career objective that’s all about YOU is also a major faux paus – to grab attention you need to quickly illustrate how you can add value to a company rather than focusing on where you want to be in 5 years time – no-one cares at this point, they just want to select someone for interview who can actually solve a problem or help to make/save money for the company.

When you fine-tune your thinking, and approach all of your marketing efforts from this angle what you’ll find is that people listen up, they tune in to what you’ve got say, and you grab their attention.  You’ve made the conversation all about them, and people like that.  Of course there is always place to talk about what you want, but choose an appropriate time – and that’s not when you’re trying to get noticed.  Capture attention, give your audience something they really want to hear, and then move on to the rest of the conversation, always tying your selling points back to ‘what’s in it for them’.