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What advantages and talents do Personal Historians typically bring to the table when looking for clients? I can think of four!

Personal Historians are some of the kindest, most interesting people I know – and I know lots of them.  I’ve been working with Personal Historians at APH conferences, in classes and teleclasses, in my one-on-one 12 Session Business Intensive and in private sessions since 2003.  Why did I choose to specialize in working with Personal Historians as my favorite client niche?

For one thing:  They share my own passion for saving personal history

I am the personal historian for my family.  I know the joys of uncovering family stories and saving them for future generations. Most personal historians I know started the same way – by doing a personal history for their own family.

Second:  They love hearing other people’s stories

Personal Historians are good listeners!  They give the gift to others of really paying attention to what they say. This is, of course, a prime benefit for their clients but it is also a gift to their potential clients as well.  Think about this: when was the last time that a stranger asked you about your life and then REALLY listened to what you had to say for more than 30 seconds?  How often do we go through the “How are you? – I am fine” ritual without really wanting to know what is happening in the other person’s life? Or have you ever been asked about your life experience only to notice that the other person’s eyes have just glazed over as you start to talk?  The “love of hearing” is a characteristic that only a few other professions share with personal historians.

Third:  Most personal historians come to the profession having had useable experience from a previous work life

Many bring skills that are of direct use in the personal history profession: having been a writer or journalist, having been a therapist of some kind, having had a career where they needed to listen to other people carefully, having the ability to do project management.  Even if their main “previous qualification” is that they have been the personal historian for their own family – this is a benefit they bring to the table.

Fourth:  It is often a great surprise to beginning personal historians that they already have some of the major sales skills.

I love the aspect of consulting and teaching business skills to personal historians because (if they do not bring a lot of fear of being a business owner with them) they catch on really quickly to marketing and sales skills.  They are ALREADY People-People.  And that is about 50% of all marketing and sales talent.  Potential clients look into a personal  historian’s eyes and see attention, listening, interest, curiosity, and friendliness.  Who would not want to consider buying something from a person like that?

Tomorrow is our last article in this series. Let’s end with a checklist of business skills that will tell you where you are in your business life and what things you might want to pay attention to in order grow your business.

IN THE MEANTIME:  If you are looking for a business skills training for personal historians check out the description of the APH sponsored 6 month class, starting in March, on the APH Events and Classes webpage. – See more at: APH Events and Classes.

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