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Psychology: Selling yourself with honesty

Sometimes we have to sell ourselves to get what we want in life, such as getting a job or even acquiring new friends. There are many ways to sell a used car and there are many ways to present yourself to a prospective employer.

You might sell a car by making it look better; by cleaning and polishing it. That is just the exterior, maybe the prospective purchaser will want to look at the engine or will want to inspect the service history. What you have inside and your history is important too. Your history might be on your CV or resume if you’re looking for a job. A CV is like the service history of a car, lots of breakdowns could look bad. So you think about your appearance and your history, then you can think about reliability. If you are reliable, you are more likely to be trusted. Turning up for an interview late will signify unreliability.

Pretending everything is great when you are selling a second hand car isn’t always a good idea. Some car salesmen shout at the customers and try to bully them. Being honest and telling the customer that the fuel consumption of the car isn’t that great, but that is made up for by it’s reliability, will perhaps make the customer consider and balance both aspects of the car. Similarly, you can point out your faults and the prospective employer might see that as being refreshingly honest. Admitting that you are not perfect, but that you constantly strive to improve, might be seen as better than presenting yourself as someone who can’t admit his own shortcomings.

Admitting you have problems might even  help you get support from the employer. The employer might make adaptions to the work place because you have a disability for example.

Most of all we are judged on our behaviour and morality and so a reliable honest approach to relationships is likely to pay off in all situations. You need to find a balance between being introvert and extrovert. Don’t shy away from expressing yourself, but don’t express yourself too forcefully or loudly. Try to relax and use humour to make people feel at ease. There is no need to show off or try to be the life and soul of the party.

People are always fascinated by the conjurer who performs a trick that they can’t understand or do. It’s the cleverness of the trick that impresses. Being able to do something easily that others find hard, always impresses. It might be growing beautiful roses in your garden. It might be a special skill or knowledge that you make look easy. Such skills, even though a minor part of who you are, make you stand out from the crowd and help people remember you.

What do you think? Are you impressed by the loud mouthed car salesman or the quiet honesty of a trader with a sense of morality and a reputation to maintain?

Please share your thoughts in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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