Expertise is a hard sell in the digital marketing business. It is hard to sell how good you are. It’s a vertical problem that entails a lot of work trying to convince people that you are the best within your industry, otherwise there’s no point in keeping your services. If you’re in the business of trying to sell something, you need to be an expert in whatever you sell.
This is why the best sellers are the people who don’t seem to sell anything at all. They show themselves as inspirational leaders in their market. Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Bill Gates… they’re perceived as the innovators in their fields because they sell you products without actually using sales talk.
If you want to show how much of an expert you and your business are, you need to understand how to do the selling properly – mostly without selling.
Forego the Sales Talk and Be Genuine
The weapon that a lot of innovating billionaire business owners across the world is authenticity. The experience of having a real expert talking about their products with passion and smarts is so genuine that people tend to gravitate towards them. It’s not just charisma, however.
To be an effective expert, the last thing that you want is to use sales language. Get out of the sellout mindset and don’t treat as if people should always be sold to. People would rather not buy at all than get something that is blatantly sold at them.
What you need to do is to stop what you’re doing and actually listen. Even if you think you got a great idea, you need to ask yourself if it solves something for someone.
Identify whose problem and what issues your business is going to take care of. Being thoughtful in your small and medium businesses means you’re listening to what people truly need, not what you think people need.
Give Some Free and Useful Info to Your Audience
This may go against every fibre of your being, but there are times that you would need to give away the best lessons that you’ve learned in your industry for free. This goes back to the mantra of people not liking business that only try to sell them.
If you want to get more people to visit your site and trust you, provide them useful free information that they can utilise on their own. This is the very concept of tripwire and lead magnet strategies – using high value, zero to low cost product in exchange for contact details.
Even then, getting helpful information out in your blog posts, news or even a podcast helps improve the perception of trustfulness of you and your business, and any expert worth their salt engages with the top players within their industry and their community even if it’s just on social media.
Ask People What’s the Problem
When I worked for Apple as a tech engineer and specialist, one of the questions I like asking people who go through our stores was “what’s the problem?”. You would want to treat your expert business the same way.
People come to businesses who they think can resolve their problem, and your approach should be the same as how a specialist will approach a visit: ask what’s their problem.
If you ask people what concerns them, what pains them and then you apply a solution to that, that’s expertise in action. Just like any expert, ask before you solve. Find out what frustrates people the most about your industry and propose a solution that resolves this problem.
Not Everything’s About Sales Strategies
Persuasion marketing has always been a move that marketers globally have used as their mantra. Thousands upon thousands of dollars have been put to understanding the art of persuading customers, the neuroscience behind how they buy and prepping the right pitch to them. This, sometimes, comes off as too salesy and overly enthusiastic.
Enthusiasm is great, but in this day and age where genuine trumps enthusiastic any time, you would want yourself to be viewed as a trustworthy expert that is not just there to get paid.
Prospects tend to be smart with money. Show them how you truly want to help. Be useful and put your business as an authority within your niche.
Discuss What Problems Need Solutions in Your Industry
Expertise does not mean you know it all. As a matter of fact, it’s better to admit you don’t know everything and you’re willing to admit that. You don’t want to come off as snobbish and just another victim of Dunning-Kruger.
What you want is to tell people about the problems and trials within your industry. Converse with your prospects and catch their attention by sharing some perceived common troubles that people seem to have a hard time taking on.
When you talk about it, converse with them your insights. Take in their opinions and approve of the ideas that are insightful. Give details on what your solution is to these challenges and share it to them.
Whilst it’s not always good to share away industry secret techniques, empowering your prospects with a peek into parts of it gives them a taste of the great information you can offer.
Walk Away If You Have Nothing to Offer
This will be another tip that will go against everything that you’ve learned from business school. When you’re talking to your clients, prospects or even just leads, learn to make sure to say no to an opportunity if you think it’s well beyond your scope.
Knowing when to walk away from a tempting opportunity is important when you think there’s no possible way for you to fulfil it. If you’re talking to your audience and they say “we already got that solved” and you have nothing better to offer, learn to loosen that grip.
Trying to slink your way into something you 100% don’t know will not only hurt your rep as an industry expert but also puts your prospects at risk of frustration. If you fail because of something you don’t really understand, that creates a possible issue for you.
If you can learn it and be an expert at it, go for it. Retreat if you have to but trying to take on things you don’t know? Just don’t.
Act Like the Expert You Are
You’re most likely an expert in your niche. All you need to do now is have the confidence and the chops to act like one. Remember to never sell yourself short by using sales techniques that you feel are not authentic or genuine.
Don’t act like you’re actually trying to sell. Be authentic, friendly and informative. Set yourself up for success by knowing when to monetise your knowledge, when to impart it to your audience and when to back off.