About the Author

Arch Lustberg, the author of the book entitled How to Sell Yourself and technically subtitled Winning Techniques for Selling Yourself … Your Ideas … Your Message is a communications expert whose client list is a who of who of business leaders, association executives, elected officials and top professionals of every field. Lusberg taught speech and drama at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC for 10 years. He co-produced the Tony award nominated musical Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope and produced and directed many record albums in the days of the LP, most notably Grammy award-winning Gallant Men by the Late Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen. He directed the United States Chamber of Commerce Communicator Workshops, prior to opening his own business, Arch Lustberg Communications.

Book Synopsis

According to Lustberg, communication implies the transfer of information from one mind to another mind, or to a group of other minds. He adds that it can be in the form of an idea, a fact, an image, and emotion, or a story, stressing that it can be written, spoken, drawn or danced, sung or mimed. Whatever the medium employed, if the message does not reach the other person, there is no communication, or there is miscommunication. The premise of the book is, therefore, to stress that every time you open your mouth, for communication to happen, you will have to sell yourself. If you do not sell yourself, communication is nearly impossible and if you do, your message will get across.

We think of selling as being product oriented which is only one aspect of selling. In the case of products sales, the factors are usually the salesperson and the price. Even when there is a slight price difference, we rarely buy any big-ticket item from someone we really dislike. Ideas and not much different, especially that the only time we pay close attention to an idea being communicated by someone we do not like is when we have a heavy personal or emotional investment in the subject.

These days, good written communication is as hard to come by as good spoken communication. Many of the principles in the book that covers speech will also walk for writing. However, not all great writing lends itself to being spoken.  Too many speechwriters are writing for posterity, as they hope to create great literature. Many speechwriters do not either know or have forgotten that the speech should be written for the speaker style and for the audiences’ ear. The spoken word is what the book is about, and it can be very tricky. You can have the best message in the world, but if you do not present the message the way you intended it, you are probably communicating the wrong message.

The Book Structure

The book is segmented into 14 chapters.

Chapter 1 is entitled Selling Yourself. Here, there are three things you need to sell yourself; competence, likeability and luck. The festival will almost always deliver the third. But having competence and likeability isn’t enough. Most of us already have them. What’s needed and what the book emphasises is the audiences’ perception that you are competent and likeable. It isn’t about faking it or fooling the audience. Real people like you and me need to learn some basic techniques that will lead us to be our real selves in the presentation situation.

Chapter 2 of the book is based on selling your competence. There are four communication tools available to each of people; the mind, the face, the body and the voice.

In Chapters 3 to 8, the author analytically x-rays concepts such as selling your likeability, selling with confidence, selling with the right signals, selling yourself as a speaker, selling yourself in confrontation and media interviews and selling yourself in the classroom.

Chapter 9 has the subject matter of selling your product. The author discusses how to sell your product by selling yourself. The author informs that he has trained thousands of Merrill Lynch financial consultants. At first, the people he trained were professionals with several years of experience and above average sales records. They reported that the sales shot through the roof after understanding the open face, eye contact, gesture, storytelling, personalising, and appearing not as sales professionals, but as loving family members. For a sale to take place and find customer satisfaction to be final and endearing, some basic principles must apply. These are, first, you must know your product. Second, you must believe in your company, your product and yourself. And third, you also know the territory. To accomplish the three steps, the good salesperson must equip himself with intelligence, integrity and initiative, that is, the three I(s) as identified by Steve Niven.

In Chapters 10 to 14, examines concepts such as selling yourself in a job interview, selling when testifying, selling yourself in meetings, selling yourself in negotiations, and the selling yourself Handbook.

Evaluation & Conclusion

As far as style is concerned, this book radiates a unique one. This is expected given that Lustberg is a communicator. The language is simple and literate and representation very logical. Lustberg employs a lot of reflective illustrations, analytical details, autobiographical effects, classical/literary allusions to ensure analytical amplification, as well as understanding and conviction on readers’ part. What is more, he employs visual textual distinction by making areas of conceptual emphasis bold to attract attention. The cover is glossy and seductive, and the inside pages well laid out.

However, Lustberg can still improve on this text by harmonising the chapters for conceptual compactness. Doing this will even reduce the problem of conceptual repetition and redundancy noticed in the book which he himself admitted in Chapter 9. Another error noticed in this book is real people like you and me need (page 15) instead of Real people like you and I need… The “me” is supposed to be in the subject case (I) because it is not serving as an object to any antecedent.

Despite all the shortcomings, this text is a good one. Do you aspire to acquire the knowledge of how to sell yourself better in all situations and at the slightest opportunity? Then you need to read this compendium of self-selling tips. It is, to say the least, very irresistible.


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