I came up with a simple and powerful tool the other day. I was standing in my office in front of a large Post-It notepad sheet with a red sharpie in my hand (red delivers intention!) — and the ideas just flowed. What did I come up with to help you be the best?

To be the best you can be, there are four stages to success — Find Me, Want Me, Sell Them, Close Them. This works for the corporate executive, to the aspiring entrepreneur, all the way to the person in transition. It’s simple, it’s direct, and it works. Let me explain each one:

STAGE ONE: FIND ME

We go through our lives partially hidden to key influential people and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. We either sit at our desk toiling away, make cold calls to people who don’t want our services, or hide at home and send out electronic résumés to closed positions. And we wonder why we aren’t moving up, getting the best clients, or landing that dream job. It’s frustrating.

The best businesses are easy to find – a big sign, the best location — the ability to stand out and be a billboard so millions of people can see you:

  • Executive: When was the last time you introduced yourself to the leaders in you organization? Do they know you?
  • Business Owner: New signage, new website, new branding — getting out and touching lots of people?
  • Transitional: Keywords on LinkedIn, writing articles, hitting industry meetings, hitting the library?

STAGE TWO: WANT ME

Okay — now we are being seen by the powers that be. What do we do now? We want them to WANT US. How do we do that?

You need to develop your own personal brand that will engage your audience and get them to see your ability, your product, and your talents:

  • Executive: What can you do to really help your company? If you’ve done it, do you brag about it? Be bold.
  • Business Owner: What one thing do you do that can change people’s lives or fill a hole in their life? Spotlight your brand.
  • Transitional: Polish your image and brand – hit the gym, change your fashions, and show them what you can do for them. No begging.

STAGE THREE: SELL THEM

They’ve seen us and they want us. It’s time to sell them and show them we are the best choice (this is where most fail).

You need to develop an iron-clad delivery that will make them better understand what you can do for them and that you’re the only person on this earth who can do it. Find the BURNING issue that keeps them awake at night and show them how you will solve it.

  • Executive: Think big – what are the real issues your company/industry are facing right now? Figure out some powerful solutions.
  • Business Owner: Who are your biggest/best customers? What aren’t you doing for them that will change their life?
  • Transitional: It’s not what you did – it’s what you can do for them RIGHT NOW. Pinpoint what that is and deliver it.

STAGE FOUR: CLOSE THEM

Everyone forgets this one. They market, produce the itch, and make the sale — then they forget to close or leave them hanging.

Once you’ve sold them — get them to sign on the dotted line. Don’t feel that it’s their job to jump into the boat after you’ve hooked them — take them off your line and place them nicely in your cooler.

  • Executive: Once they are interested in you — try to offer yourself to help them with a major initiative or pitch. You have the time.
  • Business Owner: Once they are sold — make the closing process simple, easy, transparent, and fluid. It should be pleasurable for the customer.
  • Transitional: Ask for the job. Get them to commit. Show them that you can leave for a better opportunity. Sign on the dotted line.

If you stick to this method and produce key deliverables for each stage — I promise you — you will be THE BEST YOU CAN BE.

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