Toot Your Own Horn to be Successful

Toot Your Own Horn to be Successful

Saw Donald Trump ticked Aaron off at the 6th season of “The Apprentice”. When given an opportunity to shine, Aaron chose to keep his lips sealed in the boardroom. That proved to be a silent kiss of death as far as Mr Trump was concerned. He was fired eventually.

The business world is no nursery school where you should be seen and not heard. In line with Darwin’s theory of the “survival of the fittest”, you are supposed to express your values and make sure you are the distinguished crane standing tall, and commanding both respect and attention among the chuckling chickens.

That episode of “The Apprentice” reminded me of a few remarks I heard recently. It hits home that most people do have a problem with selling. In fact, they are downright apologetic when it comes to sharing something good.

A good friend sent an email to update his well-being, “Just want to share with you my experience after going through my 3-day course. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to promote the course.” With a big grin, I emailed back “Good things are meant to be shared and promoted so get it off your chest if you want. You can leave us to make the decision whether we “buy in”.”

Some friends who attended the National Achiever Congress were somewhat disgusted with every speaker closing their 2-hour talk with a sales pitch. Harv Eker promoted his “Millionaire Mind Intensive”, Blaire Singer talked about his “Sales Dog”, Roger Hamilton invited people to join his XL movement, etc. After I heard it in excess of 3 times that, “Yeah, Joe Girard was the best. He didn’t sell us anything”, I was a little concerned.

A doctor whom I know at a seminar, Dr Bob Koh, asked why I was disturbed by the above reactions. I answered with another question, “Will you not tell a critically ill cancer patient that you can cure him and you can do so without surgery?” The fact that Dr Bob has successfully treated a Stage 3 colon patient without invasive surgery or drug is worth telling the whole world, isn’t it? Is that considered selling? Or is that sharing that will be greatly appreciated?

If you are looking for a job and choose not to highlight your past achievements and how your experiences and expertise can help the company to scale new height, what’s your chances of you being hired compared to a candidate that toot his own horn?

If you are vying for a promotion, and if you do not communicate your ideas, efforts and contributions to your team, how do they evaluate you properly and effectively when appraisal time comes around?

If you are a business, and you believe in the saying that “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door”, I wish you plenty of good luck. Theoretically, the world can … but only if we know where to find you in the first place! There’s an old Chinese saying that said “Old Master Wong blows his own trumpet when selling his pumpkin.” The old saying supposedly advised us about the virtue of humbleness. While boasting is undesirable, you can “toot your own horn” in positive ways that would be acceptable.

Who is going to sell for you if you don’t even sell “you” for yourself?

Don’t most of us hate blatant advertising?

Sure, most of us abhor blatant advertising – those in-the-face, stuff it down your throat type of advertising. What’s wrong is not in the advertising and promotion per se, what’s incorrect is how the message and value is conveyed. The art of advertising and promotion is in the entire package:

  • What to say and What not to say
  • When to say and When not to say
  • Where to say and where not to say
  • How to say and how not to say

Like Harv Eker put it in tongue and cheek;

Rich people are almost always excellent promoters. … If you think there’s something wrong with that, then let’s ban makeup for women, and while we’re at it, we might as well get rid of suits for men. All that is nothing more than “packaging”.

If you believe strongly and sincerely that you have a product and a service that will make the world a better place, share it. Some people will not be interested and might slam the door into your face. But some other people will be more than happy to welcome you with open arms. Just accept that you can’t please everyone. Equally important is to stop exposing your ads – especially online ads – to people who find you a nuisance.

The best real life example of “tooting your own horns” I have seen so far..

It’s at the seminars conducted by T Harv Eker. Many of my friends told me that they were not going to sign up for yet another self-improvement course. Yet, they RAN (and I mean it literally) to grab the Quantum Leap package when it was offered in Millionaire Mind Intensive in November 2007. Then, we didn’t even know when the 4 courses are going to be conducted. Those who bought, bought with the knowledge that they don’t know when the courses are going to take place! How many people can pull this off? Harv Eker succeeded because he knows how to toot his horn.

However, the most fascinating phenomenon I have witnessed was during the “Train a Trainer” course. Harv Eker simply announced that he is conducting a “Making the Stage” as a follow-up course to “Train a Trainer”, and before he goes into details, people started to leave their seats to rush to the registration counter to buy. There wasn’t even an announcement on the course details, dates nor the fees. By the time he finished, more than 20% of the attendants were already at registration. How often do you get all worked up and fearful that you can’t buy a course that you know next to nothing about, and you don’t know if you can afford the price? No? I understand. You should see the alarmed face of the 20% participants when told that there were only 60 seats available!

I know it sounded crazy and unbelievable but go talk to anyone who signed up for Harv Eker’s courses to see if I blew his trumpet too loudly. Or choose to pay S$250 (if you sign up before 30 August) and find out for yourself at Millionaire Mind Intensive 2008. I’ll see you there because I’m one of those crazy one who decided that once is not enough.

4 Replies to “Toot Your Own Horn to be Successful”

  1. It’s fairly easy to motivate people through fear and that’s why it is so common. If you pay attention you can see the subtle ways sales people create an underlying message of fear that inspires action.

    “How often do you get all worked up and fearful that you can’t buy a course that you know next to nothing about…”

    I don’t think that invoking action out of people through fear is a real gift or that it makes a better sales person.

  2. Sell, sell, sell and all will be well. T.Harv is a good marketer. :)

    P/S: Make sure it creates value. :)

    PP/S: You going for GBI? See ya there.

  3. Hi Awareness
    I was thinking of your comment and in all honesty, I didn’t feel that T Harv Eker invoked fear in the participants. However, he did succeed to elicit the kiasu-ness (scare to lose)in us, such that the fear of not been able to make a purchase is the overriding emotion. And we all know we buy because of emotion and seldom for reason.

    === ===
    Hi Ken
    Yes, when we don’t add value we can’t sell. And yes, good to see you at GBI.

  4. We need to say about ourselves. The world is so busy , it just doesn’t have time to research on what we are up to. Thanks for the article!

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