If you’re in sales, ask yourself these questions:
- Does your customer want you to be an expert or a resource?
- Are you expecting them to look at you as the expert?
- Are you working overtime in LinkedIn Groups, answering dozens of questions via LinkedIn Answers, or responding to questions on Focus.com or Quora?
- How is that working for you?
Looking through LinkedIn Profiles quite a bit, one thing that jumps out for me is how frequently people claim the word “EXPERT” when describing themselves and their capabilities. I guess I have just grown tired of the overuse of the word expert, especially when it is applied by the person themselves. All of the work you are doing on sites like Focus are helpful to building your brand, your reputation and your network and it can help you become recognized by others as an expert.
How about letting others give you that moniker? If your customers, your employer, heck even your kids call you an expert at something, congratulations! Use the title with pride.
It got me wondering if customers would rather buy from you as an expert, or buy from you as a “RESOURCE”?
Do they really expect you to be a legitimate expert on the latest neuro-surgical instruments in the medical field, or simply be able to deliver the results that they need? Wouldn’t they prefer to build a relationship with someone that has the skills and knowledge to gather the experts together when the need arises, while maintaining a broader, full-spectrum of industry knowledge?
Doesn’t the sales person touting themselves as an expert run the risk of creating too narrow of a value to the customer? What about the overall industry trends that the customer should be aware of? How about being a resource that can bring in the finance “expert” or the engineering “expert” when needed, rather than attempting to be the expert in all those things yourself? Don’t you think the customer will respect you more and be willing to continue building a relationship with you as a resource rather than if you are an expert?
I think I am going to work hard at being a “resource” for my customers. The one that they can count on to gather and deliver the experts when they are needed.
Let’s let others bestow the expert label for a change. What do you think?