Dr. Cindy McGovern is the Author of the Week
Hello Dr. Cindy, welcome to BrandEducation! What’s your favorite word and why?
It’s actually two words: “Thank you.” I say, “Thank you”. I think it is a very underutilized phrase. We throw it around all the time, but when I say it, I really mean it and take time to convey that. I say, “Thank you” by hand-writing notes and by returning favors. I practice gratitude and I let people know when I’m grateful for them.
What’s the last book you read?
Funny enough, the last book I read is my own: Sell Yourself: How to Create, Live, and Sell a Powerful Personal Brand. I read it probably 50 times (not kidding) before my publisher had to pry it out of my hands to put it on bookstore shelves. I wanted to make sure it was conveying the right message and that all the grammar and punctuation were correct, so I kept reading it over and over again. I really put a lot of myself into it.
What’s the book that changed your life?
I’d have to say it’s my first book, Every Job Is a Sales Job. It didn’t change my life in the way that a profound novel or one of the classics might change someone’s life. It changed my life because it made me an author and gave me a platform to share my ideas and to help others change their lives. That’s not only a huge responsibility; it’s an awesome opportunity.
If you were a superhero, what powers would you have?
I would like to be—and to see—a woman superhero whose superpower is kindness. I like superheroes, but most of them are programmed to help people out of their crises. My superhero would help people every day have a better day through simple acts of kindness, helpfulness and thoughtfulness. My superhero would leave little gifts, give compliments freely and make everyone feel special.
If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?
Set goals. Keep those goals in mind no matter what you’re doing. Work toward your goals. Create a personal brand that will help you achieve those goals. Show people your best self every day. Be your best self every day.
What are your guilty pleasures?
Dancing and scary movies. Oh, and chocolate. And travel. And my precious little dog, Biscuit.
Do you have any advice that you can offer to those just starting in your industry or craft?
My craft is sales. I coach others about it. I do it myself as part of my consulting business, Orange Leaf Consulting and Orange Leaf Academy. My advice to those just starting out in sales is this: Sell people stuff they need and want, not what you need or want to sell. I’ve never seen a happy customer who felt pressured into buying something he or she couldn’t afford or didn’t really want. A successful sale is one that benefits the salesperson and the customer. It’s a win-win. High-pressure tactics are unnecessary and do not create customers for life. Filling needs creates customers for life.
State a random fact about yourself that would surprise our readers.
I’m a huge fan of Dolly Parton’s. I find her inspirational and just plain fabulous. I’m into personal branding, and she has a personal brand to beat all personal brands. I’ve read that she doesn’t even wash her makeup off at bedtime just in case an emergency sends her fleeing a hotel room into the street in the middle of the night. She doesn’t want firefighters and onlookers to see anything but the Dolly Parton they know, love and expect to see.
What’s the single most important reason for your success?
At a glance, others might say it is because I’m ambitious, organized, reliable and professional. But in my heart, I know that no matter what else I might be, I’m kind to people. Kind is not just being nice, compassionate and respectful. Kind is being truthful and grateful and honest. I’m grateful that people trust me with their business, their time, their goals. My own personal brand has many facets, but at its core are my personal values. Kindness is at that core and I do believe that’s the single, most-important reason for my success.
What’s the key lesson that you want everyone to take away from your work?
We all sell our way through life. Every time we ask someone for a favor, we’re trying to make a sale. When we convince a toddler to eat a piece of broccoli, that’s a sale. If a neighbor agrees to swap carpool days with us, we’ve made a sale. Selling isn’t a dirty word; it’s how we get what we want, need and deserve. Whether we want to believe it or not, we all sell every day. So we might as well learn how to sell effectively.
About the author
Dr. Cindy McGovern is the author the new book Sell Yourself: How to Create, Live, and Sell a Powerful Personal Brand. Dr. Cindy is the founder of Orange Leaf Consulting, a business consulting firm. She is the creator of The Orange Leaf Academy and the author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller Every Job Is a Sales Job: How to Use the Art of Selling to Win at Work. Known as the First Lady of Sales, Dr. Cindy speaks about personal branding, sales and leadership topics all over the world.
Find out more at: https://www.sellyourselfbook.com/about-dr-cindy and listen to Dr. Cindy’s episode.