How To Become An Expert In Your Industry
By: Jillian Vanarsdall
November 10th, 2011
What separates the expert seller from everyone else? Can you really position yourself as an expert in your niche? And what benefits will you derive from that? In this episode, Bryan Neale reviews the many types of sales people so that you can see where you fit. Then he gives some ideas on how you can immediately become an expert in your world.
Hi everybody. It’s Bryan Neale here. Again a Whiteboard Wednesday and I’m going to do a drawing up here about something that I think is really, really what I’m going to call an advanced thing for a lot of sales people.
It’s something that a lot of people talk about but not a lot of people, I think, get it right and it has to do with the idea of consultative selling. It’s amazing how many times I sit in a class especially with a new group and they say, “Well, you know Bryan, I always try to be consultative when I’m selling,” and I know they mean well but sometimes, it doesn’t always come out right. Here’s what I mean.
I want you to think first of all about what you do in the offering. At its core level, whatever it is that you do, whether you sell something, a service, whether you sell telephony or computers or industrial equipment, whatever it is, there’s a commodity element to everything that everybody does.
To my business, there’s a lot of free sales training. Wait a minute, Whiteboard Wednesday is free. This is free. There’s a lot of stuff that costs absolutely nothing for people to go out and get it. Outside of this though, people say, well, we’re a little bit higher-priced because we are – ready for this one? 1980s, value-added, value-added and so most of you have probably been – that word “value-added” has been drilled into your head. It’s like we got to be value-added. What does that mean?
To most people what value added means is the same stuff so it’s gone. It’s things like we have great service. We have great customer service. We deliver on time. We’re really, really good at what we do. We have great feature, function in what we do. People think that’s value-added and to some degree, they’re right. It is value-added but the next level up is where it starts to be consultative but here’s the problem. This thing out here to us is objective. That’s the keyword, objective consultation.
When most people say the word “consultative”, they still keep the consultative thought down here in the second ring where they live in this value-added. We want to teach our clients to be objective consultants where they’re seeing a much bigger picture. In the end, what we want people to be is not consultative but we want them to be experts in whatever they are. An expert brings with it something totally different than someone that’s doing consultative selling because an expert brings knowledge and expertise that goes outside of what it is that I do.
So for instance, if I’m someone that sells telephony or networking systems, telephone things and I go and I talk to a business owner, I don’t want to just consult about what’s going on in here in the telephony range. I want to hear the whole picture. There may be things about this particular business. There may be some sort of marketing problem or the person I’m talking to, they may need a virtual CFO. If I’m really truly being an expert in whatever it is that I call on or whoever it is that I call on, I’ve got to be able to talk about these sorts of things in addition to what I do down here.
So I want you to think about where you live in this realm. Do you edge out here just on the commodity? Are you one that’s just worried about the price and that you think your product or whatever it is that you sell is too high-priced? Are you up in this value-added range? In the value-added range are you simply adding value in the way that everybody else is, saying that we’ve got great service and all this other stuff or are you truly working your way out to where you are known as an expert in whatever it is that you do?
To be an expert takes extra effort and extra work, what most people aren’t willing to put in. That’s why it’s a bell curve. That’s why high performers perform in the far right side because they will spend the time and the energy that it takes to be involved here as an expert.
To become an expert, start to do this. Hang around people that are in your industry that are influencers. Hang around people that are up for you, that make you feel uncomfortable, that push you. Don’t hang around people that you feel above or over. Hang around people that lift you up.
Read trade journals, read things like Fortune, Wall Street Journal. Become a student of whatever it is that you do. Be ready at any point for one of your clients to hand the keys of their business to you and you have an answer for what you would do as you think about their business. You will see your income will go way, way, way up when you start to do this because people pay a whole lot more money for this sort of stuff than they do for this stuff down in the middle. [0:03:55]
Tags: Bryan Neale, business, caskey, expert positioning, how to position yourself as an expert, prospecting, sales sucess, sales training indianapolis, sales value, sales web tv
Posted in Bryan Neale, Expert Positioning, How To, Jillian Vanarsdall, Sales Videos