Those who learn twice as fast as others and get twice as many “yeses” from their customers, colleagues and managers share something in common; they’ve found and aligned their sweet spot with the right opportunities (or at least found their sweet spot within their current organisation or role).
Those who have identified and aligned their very highest and unique value to the right opportunities almost certainly took a calculated or passion-fuelled punt at some point in their life (multiple times usually). And those who took the punt in the right direction would have hit their sweet spot. As a result, their learning and earning power would have almost magically increased, since they hone their skills on the job whilst proudly enjoying immediate progress, reward and service to others.
Jealous of them?
This post will help you become one of them, and at the end of it, I’m offering you some free help direct from me to you over email, to get clarity on your own sweet spot.
I’ll walk you through how to find your compass to your sweet spot in your work. Then you’ll need to use it to take your calculated (or passion-fuelled) punt.
This is of course particularly useful to those in sales who aren’t aware of their own personal USP (unique selling point). Many sales people tell me that essentially they are no different to their competitors.
What a morbid thought.
Whilst your organisation may blur the differences between themselves and their competition, that doesn’t stop you from having total clarity of your own unique difference. That gives you way more than a fighting chance to get more “yeses” in your career.
How others see you
Of course you’re different, and whether you realise it or not, your customers, colleagues and senior leaders who know you have their own interpretation of how you’re different, and they make their decisions accordingly.
Sorry to break it to you, but despite spending your life or career trying to fit in, you really are different. But your difference creates the perfect snug fit for specific opportunities with certain people.
So my challenge to you, is to help other people interpret your difference in a way that you want them to, so that you can find your way to those perfect highly rewarding snuggly fitting opportunities which enable you to thrive and shine.
Follow these steps:
- Grab a pen and a sheet of paper and jot down your answers to the following questions
- What is the one thing that you do well above all others in your job, that you earn most pride from, that others seem to praise you for the most, and that you do almost effortlessly? This is the one activity that you would choose to do if you had to confidently prove your best value to others.
- Which opportunities, projects, or clients have you worked with that you enjoyed the most and had the most fun? What 3-5 things did they have in common?
- Which one of the following 3 factors would your boss or your top customers say is the main reason they like working with you? Is it because
a) the work you do is notably high quality
b) the work you do is particularly convenient to them or..
c) they get you cheaper than their alternatives
- The sum total of all your experiences in your work and life make you highly unique. No one else has seen the same things as you, been to the exact same places as you, learned from the same challenges and experiences you have, and met and been shaped by the exact same people as you at the times you met them.
These have all shaped you. They mean you will add more value to certain people on certain projects, in certain organisations, industries and so on than others.
What are the defining moments in your life or career that explain WHY you deliver so well on your answers in questions 2, 3 and 4? And given the sum total of your experiences, what projects should you ideally pursue next?
- Finally, write down in a sentence or two what really makes you unique – what is your proven sweet spot? Ensure you omit anything that your competition can also claim to have at the same level as you. But if you think you’re stronger in any areas than them, then it goes in!
Write out what your USP is, including whether you’re higher quality, more convenient or cheaper, and write a few lines explaining why this is the case.
Now learn it. Re-read it. Re-write it from memory. Write it out every day for a week or two. Keep thinking about it. And ensure that your customers or your boss can see and understand your sweet spot. Communicate it to them. Share with them under what circumstances you are at your best. And tell them you would like to work on more suitable projects where you can make some magic happen! (And charge them accordingly!)
Over all, start using it as a compass to lead you towards better opportunities that you can win, and that you’ll get more “yeses” from. And enjoy what comes of it…
At the risk of looking like I’m shamelessly tooting my own horn here, I thought it might be useful to share an example of my own ‘sweet spot’, where I work at my best. This is a direct output of following the 6 steps above and intended to guide you towards a similar outcome which I’m happy for you to share with me and I’ll give direct and private feedback (see below):
I help teams of intelligent people to maximise their learning and performance, particularly helping non-sales people to improve at business development/sales.
I’m at my best in a face to face setting, where I can leverage my lifetime’s expertise in how people learn best both socially and informally, creating a firework display of useful ideas between a group, and using my experience from living, working and selling in different countries to adapt to and deeply engage any group of people from any background (I’ve achieved strong engagement and improved performance and results working with accounting partners, graduates, leadership, experienced sales people, call centres, through to nurses and even pub staff to ‘sell’ a better experience to their customers!)
My engineering meets business development meets ‘accelerated learning’ mindset enables me to help clients cut through the chaos that holds their team back, and to create structured, practical learning and performance tools and systems that individuals can pick up and use to quickly develop sales behaviours that stick. I use and refine these very tools myself to continue developing my own business mostly with large organisations (which means I practice what I preach and still get my hands dirty actually making sales, which enables me to empathise and better help those I work with.)
And since I enforce my own high-standards on others, stretching and supporting them beyond their own performance expectations, and emphasise the importance of bridging learning through to results on the job (often supported by coaching, mobile or further social learning) my clients choose me for a consistently proven high quality and rewarding experience and result, which is why I have had the pleasure to work with large firms including Apple, KPMG, National Grid and Ofgem.
With that in mind, I can take this conversation to the right organisations, turn it into probing questions that might enable me to reveal parts of my USP where relevant (“have you found many sales trainers in the past who still spend a high proportion of their time selling, so they’re in touch with those they’re working with?”) and if they’re interested in exploring opportunities with me, I’m hopefully on my way to a new mutually rewarding business opportunity.
Free help to find your sweet spot
If you would like to email me a description of your own USP or ‘sweet spot’, I’d be happy to read and comment, and give you some further ideas on how to actually use it to open doors. You can send it to me using the contact tab or clicking here, and I’ll get back to you within 2 working days.