One of the key elements of the marketing training our consultants benefit from is exactly how to ‘sell themselves’, especially when out and about meeting people. It doesn’t come naturally to most HR people, and using stories can be a very effective way of doing it. By stories, we mean anecdotes about what you’ve been doing, and examples of what a difference you’ve made to clients previously. Here are some of the key reasons why storytelling as part of your marketing can be very powerful.
1. The best predictor of future performance is past performance
You know that from recruitment, and the same applies for an HR consultant selling themselves to potential clients and referrers. They want to be sure you will deliver, and using stories is the most effective way to demonstrate to potential clients or referrers that you are good at what you do, and that you have done whatever it is successfully in the past. It enhances your credibility, emphasises your experience and indicates that you are a safe pair of hands.
By choosing the appropriate story, the potential client can visualise the successful application of whatever service you are describing in their business, can identify with the client you are talking about and the problem you solved, and can visualise how your advice will help him/her and make his/her business more successful. They can identify with the problem being faced by the manager in your story, and will have more confidence that you can help them achieve the same result.
3. Not selling
No one likes being sold to, and HR professionals don’t like selling either. So don’t do it. Telling stories about what you’ve been up to illustrates the services you offer and demonstrates how good a service you provide without any selling being required. This enables you to build a rapport and trust with your listener, and removes any defensive response they may automatically engage when feeling sold to.
4. It’s easier for you
Selling yourself in a conventional manner can be stressful, ineffective and can feel very uncomfortable to anyone who is not a natural salesperson. It’s no fun and is a disincentive for anyone looking for an excuse not to go out networking! It’s much easier to relax and just talk about what you’ve been doing, and if you know that’s what you will be doing, any marketing activity or conversation with a new person becomes much more appealing and pleasurable.
Providing extensive marketing training is just one of the ways we empower our consultants to achieve their own success. If you would like this level of support in marketing your own HR consultancy business, do get in touch.