“The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short.” Abraham Maslow
It is a common problem with people to undersell themselves, to not promote the positive things that they can bring to a situation. Upselling may well have been associated with a sales pitch for a product, but when you think about it, life requires you to upsell your experiences and what you can bring to the party. It is tricky, but so many people don’t — self included.
Part of life is what you do, and this takes upselling to achieve the success that hard work brings.
On the business level, I am a travel writer, and this requires a belief in myself and my ability to return on investment. On a personal level, probably the hardest for most of us, it means believing in yourself and your value in whatever you are doing.
It is starting with yourself first and then working up. If you don’t upsell yourself as a person, then how can you upsell your product. It takes guts to do this.
So here are 6 Hacks to UPSELL Yourself
- If you don’t upsell yourself, who else will
My beloved late father was a School Principal. With this responsibility came the incumbent admirers of his leadership abilities, and I was certainly one of those, having followed in his footsteps myself. There were also the detractors. Dad’s response to this was, ‘any publicity is good publicity, and at least they are talking about me’. It took a while for me to get this, but I do think that there is something in this for all of us when upselling. It won’t be all smooth sailing when you share your belief that what you do is a worthwhile contribution to your field of expertise, and in my case that is now travel writing.
If I don’t tell people that we have something valuable to offer then I am pretty darned sure my competitors won’t. In saying that, I have no time for people shouting from the rooftops how fantastic they are if they are not working their butts off and delivering a product where the passion is evident. So yes I will receive support and yes there will be detractors but then if they want to say something negative, at leas they know who I am.
When I was a teacher for many years, we would often audit the students about what they valued from their teachers. Year after year we received the same responses, they appreciated a teacher who knew what they were doing and were passionate about sharing with their students. Out of the mouths of babes, this was a concurring truth, albeit they were teenagers.
This translates to everything that you do. Know what you are doing and know it well, and most importantly totally love what you do. Don’t just like it or endure it, because people are not stupid. Love what you do, be passionate about it, bound out of bed at ungodly hours because you want to get into it.
2. Stop suffering from the IMPOSTER SYNDROME
“Impostor syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist even in face of information that indicates that the opposite is true. It is experienced internally as chronic self-doubt and feelings of intellectual fraudulence” Caltech
In other words, you don’t feel as though you deserve to be successful, that other people are more entitled than you are. You feel that the success you have achieved has been more from luck than bloody hard work. This is a common syndrome, and as a travel writer one that plagues me. Remember the point of upselling is to showcase your knowledge, your passion and your ROI, and your belief in yourself.
3. If you don’t ask then you know the answer — it is NO
I have written about this before. One sure fire way of receiving an adverse response to a question is not to ask the question in the first place. That becomes a guaranteed NO, and you didn’t even open your mouth.
It is also a very tricky thing, particularly if you suffer from the imposter syndrome. It is hard to put yourself out there by asking for something that you need to advance your career, your relationship or even your self-image. However, if you don’t ask, you are going nowhere fast.
At least if you receive a negative response, you have tried. You will get knock backs, but you will also get positive responses. That is life and learning how to cope with the yes and the no responses is part of it. Think of all of the famous authors, musicians and artists who received no validation for a long time, and sometimes a very long time as in posthumously. Why wait? Upselling yourself takes guts, we get it.
4. Stop the SELF-DOUBTING
Inextricably linked to the imposter syndrome and the inability to ask for something, is this lingering self-doubt. Do you know what you are doing? Do you believe that what you are doing is value added? I think here on Contented Traveller we have something to offer. Do I think that we are a valued resource for travelers? Yes, I do. However, that does not stop me doubting myself many times, and wondering if there are people far better out there, who have a much schmicker way of doing things.
The answer to that is yes, of course, there are people better, but we still believe that we are bringing something to the party that is unique and necessary. So, I need to stop self-doubting and believe in what we do and go forth and conquer.
5. Upselling is NOT A DIRTY WORD
Upselling is about value. “It’s not you, it’s “you.”
It is about valuing yourself as a person first and foremost, evaluating yourself and what you do, and assessing the fact that you are delivering value. In my case, it is value to other travelers. It is about building up their confidence to travel on their terms, by offering ideas and resources to help them to achieve this. I believe that they are looking to us for inspiration on how to do this and that they trust that we as real people are sharing not just our triumphs but also the mistakes we also inevitably make.
6. Don’t let others BULLY YOU
Make no bones about the fact that other people will try and unnerve you. This can be in the form of people upselling themselves beyond what is acceptable in terms of what their abilities are. There are some people who take upselling to a ridiculous level, thinking that if you tell other people often enough it will take on. It does, but in my experience it doesn’t take long to realize that some people are full of hot air.
You will encounter bullying and bragging that makes you reconsider your ability to upsell yourself or your product. Let’s look at this from another angle. Do you accept schoolyard bullying? A child being picked on by a group of other kids? No of course you don’t. Then get yourself ready because you will be entering a playground, a playground with nice children, confident children smart children and some horrible bullies. If you cannot stand up to bullies, then you will remain at their mercy much as the bullied child in the schoolyard does. It takes guts, no matter what age you are, and no matter what business you are in, to take a stand to say no to bullying.
If you continue to believe in yourself and to upsell yourself, first and foremost to yourself, then you have the advantage. You then need to share this with those you are working for, and in our case that is our readers and the travel companies we work with.
It is hard to upsell yourself, but it is necessary.