Marketing yourself? How Not to Seem Desperate

 In Confidence, Sales

Being persistent is a basic standard in today’s business world. Landing the new role, expanding that network, creating a need where one does not yet exist, and “putting it out there” is critical to our success. But when does persistence travel into the territory of desperation? The answer depends entirely upon the recipients of your actions—the prospective buyers, clients and employers in your career.

Does your persistence come across as desperation?

Think about your own experiences for a moment: that sales rep who calls you constantly after you met her at a networking event, or the vendor who put you on his mailing list and sends you five emails per day. At what point do you cross over from being mildly interested to feeling annoyed or even creeped-out by that person/company? When we feel turned off but don’t quite know why, it’s because something has triggered the part of the brain (the Amygdala) which processes our emotional reactions. We might not even be conscious of it, but our brain makes decisions about who we trust and who we don’t and once someone crosses that subtle line—it’s very hard to change our minds about them.

As professionals, we need to remember that when we behave in a desperate manner, it makes the object of our attention want to move away from us—not toward us.

If you are concerned that you might be putting out the desperation vibe, follow these three rules:

  1. After you take a focused action, busy yourself with other tasks and resist the temptation to push. If you are circling back to prospects/employers too soon you probably don’t have enough in your pipeline. Build your network to keep yourself from pestering people.
  2. Catch yourself when you really, really, really want a deal to close, and see if you need to listen more, ask better questions, or just back off—because wanting it badly and seeming desperate are close cousins.
  3. Take steps to actually feel less panic and desperation. Deep breaths, a workout, or taking time to set goals, plan and dream are all great ways to feel more in control and less at the whim of others.

“Desperation is like stealing from the Mafia: you stand a good chance of attracting the wrong attention.”
Douglas Horton

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