Choosing a topic for this month’s column, I have gone through several rewrites with me finally deciding to share about what it is to be an expert in ones field.
If you are to convince a prospective or current customer that you are the person to do the job; in order to secure the work, you have to be that one person that stands out above the rest. So what does it mean to stand out in the crowd in these ever changing times?
You can have all the sales tactics on hand and that great personality, but without a personal connection to the prospective person or client, you are already on the back foot. Relationships are key in building trust as mentioned in my previous articles. Trust is built up over time and this is missing with someone who is new to your services. So you therefore have to be or become the expert.
The expert is someone who humbly knows his or her offering inside and out. It is also the person who is prepared to learn and expand their knowledge of their field in order to better enhance the feedback or service to the client. In turn becoming the go-to person who over time can be trusted. An expert is the person who is also prepared to go twice as far as the regular Joe to do what it takes and get it done, and make their client feel at peace with deciding to use your offering.
Recently I took one of my newest clients along with their client, the author of a book, through our factory tour. On the tour I explained every aspect of each printing department and the role each played in creating their project. This tour also highlighted the time it took in each department, based on their book project specification. I was taken aback by her response at the end of the tour. She honestly thanked me for my input as she never understood why this process always took so long. She was able to walk away from the tour realising that her project was in the hands of a capable entity that would ensure a beautiful end product.
My client and myself even took the first advance copies to her house and she burst into tears. She then told me of her gratitude towards my role along with others. This project had taken her almost four years to complete and I was simply a part of the journey. All be it an important part, I realised that being an expert allowed me to be part of something special. An expert therefore does not just sell a product or service. He or she sells a solution to enable others to complete their story or journey.
So let’s start focusing on what our offering is and becoming the best at that. The Expert.
TIPS FOR BECOMING A CREDIBLE EXPERT
Make it About Them. In order to stand out as an expert in today’s crowded world, your advice and leadership needs to resonate one important attribute – empathy.
Show Instead of Tell.
Do the Write Thing.
Apply the Basics.
Authentic and Visible.
Build Your Platform.