“Whatever you sell, you will sell more if you can position yourself as an expert.”
– Marcia Yudkin (from strongcloser.com)
The sentiment behind this statement is spot on. As the Internet tends to do, the word “expert”, in my opinion, has been overused and misused to capture attention. Sellers do not need to be experts in their space. They need to be a known advisor and one who helps solve customer challenges. Sellers need to be known, liked and trusted for a particular problem, challenge or service that helps customers consistently. Sellers need strategic positioning with buyers in their industry.
Positioning is a combination of your reputation and your knowledge or insights. Let’s flush this out a bit.
What does it mean to have a strong position? A good definition of position for our purposes is “where you stand in relation to other people.” (emphasis is mine).
This is worth repeating and emphasizing for your sales career or for your sales team. Your position is “where you stand in relation to other people” in your industry. How do you compare to other sellers? What do buyers think about you even before they speak with you. The reality is buyers know you and your company brand before you reach out to them. That is why marketing teams work so hard on branding. So, how does your industry, network and connections think about you and your business?
As a seller, imagine being the person others think about first when someone asks about your industry or has a challenge to overcome? Imagine having 100’s or even 1,000’s of people willing to share your social posts, forward your emails and mention you in conversations (online and offline) that relate to your industry. Imagine building a reputation that helps you fill your pipeline because people want to buy-from you!
That is what it means to have a strong position as an awesome advisor in your field.
Read the full article this is based on via the link below. The writer lays out 5 ways to grow your position as an expert in your field. I really like #1 the best. When it is applicable, we need to be willing to take a risk and stand for something that goes against the industry norm.
I have spent the last 5 years pushing against the crowd of voices in social selling. I believe that it greatly benefits companies to spend more time and money helping sellers position themselves as mini-influencers, trusted advisors and even true experts in their industry. Sellers need a reputation as an industry advisor, as explained above.
When companies only provide tools for cold outreach, sellers are not equipped nor encouraged to perform the best sales activities that actually fill pipelines and close bigger deals. Some companies are so focused on sales TODAY that they don’t have the patience to let sellers do the daily activities necessary to build a long-term vision and plan to crush their sales goals.
How do you build your reputation and position yourself in your industry?
This article was curated by my colleague Brandon Lee