I was in my element yesterday.
Ultimately, I'm just very good at sales. My strengths lie in talking to people unabashedly and identifying ways to engage them - my ability to perceive what motivates people really helps with this. It is an odd thing. I'm actually shy with new people, though once I get the lay of the land I come good. Speaking for myself can be difficult because I suffer from foot-in-mouth, and worry about ostracising myself.
But get me to sell something to strangers; concepts, services, things even, and it's like I suddenly lose all signs of shyness. The key is that I have to believe in what I'm selling.
I realised this yesterday when at the expo. I loved it. I found it easy to start conversations with people - Harlem was usually the ice-breaker, people would come over to pat him (he was off harness), and I'd start a conversation with them.
When I got bored of doing that, I took a bunch of our referral cards and went around to the various other stalls asking them about their services and how I might connect people with vision impairments into those services, whether it be as participants, consumers, volunteers, or in my capacity as a Community Development Worker seeking to find venues where we could run our own groups and events. Then I'd ask them if you would be willing to tell any vision impaired people able Vision Australia. I talked about our services, our NDIS pre-planning, our pre-employment and employment consultant services, and even about puppy raising for Seeing Eye Dogs Australia (I don't have a SEDA dog, I have a Guide Dog from Guide Dogs Victoria, but in my capacity as a Vision Australia staff member on duty, obviously I would be promoting our business).
A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to pre-employment course here in Kensington, and was asked (along with the other two people on the panel), what my strengths and weaknesses are. Weaknesses are always easy to come up with (though coming up with them in such a way as to not put employers off is a greater challenge). Strengths can be a lot more difficult. Now though, since last night, I know one of my strengths is being able to engage people with regard to concepts, products, and services I believe they can benefit from.
In any case, I had a blast!
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