tipsYou’re the expert, right? So prove it.

Our clients don’t just buy our products and services. They also buy our expertise. They want to work with the best of the best—salespeople who know their stuff, who ask the right questions and deliver tailor-made solutions that get them the ROI they deserve.

Think about it as if you were the buyer. Would you prefer to work with someone who only knows the ins and outs of what he’s selling? Or would you be more likely to choose an expert—someone who sees the big picture and can help you get a leg up on the competition?

What Does It Take?

As I listened to a panel describe their views on thought leadership, I realized it’s not that complicated. But it’s not easy either. Like anything else worth doing, it requires focus, confidence, and courage.

Here’s what it takes:

  1. Have passion for your message. Find your niche, do your homework, and start sharing your great ideas and content. Engage in conversations (online and off) about your area of interest. Look for media opportunities, and become recognized as an authority.
  2. Don’t monetize. Make whatever investments you can to get your perspective known, but don’t expect a financial return. Thought leaders don’t monetize; they provide valuable content for no other reason than to share great information and gain exposure.
  3. Make some noise. You’re the expert, so let your point of view be known—even if it’s outside the traditional school of thought. It’s OK to create conflict. Not everyone will agree with you, but that’s not the point. The goal is to get people thinking and talking about what you have to say.
  4. Don’t sell. Share content that’s helpful, enlightening, and informative—not a thinly-veiled sales pitch. You need to get to know people and develop trust. If you want them to trust your information, you must be genuine, confident, and approachable.
  5. Stay relevant. Continue to share your knowledge and stay current on industry news, as well as what other experts have to say. Share relevant information from other sources that piques the interest of your audience.

It Doesn’t Stop Here

Social media has provided a new outlet to showcase your expertise—and your passion. Brick and mortar establishments are about location, location, location. The cyber-world is about content, content, content. When you provide consistent, relevant, helpful content, and answer people’s questions about your area of expertise, you quickly become known as the go-to person for your topic.

Buyers will gravitate to you. You will be the expert everyone turns to for advice (and yes, to spend some money). After all, you’re not just a salesperson; you’re a thought leader.

Connect with No More Cold Calling

Follow Joanne on Google+ or Twitter @ReferralSales, or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Comment Here

How do you demonstrate your expertise?