I don’t know about you, but I often [mentally] knock someone down a notch or two in perceived credibility when someone calls themself a “guru” or an “expert.”
The inverse is true when someone else calls them a guru or an expert.
At this point, it should definitely be mentioned that, yes, there are many true experts out there in sales. I’m not attempting to take away from your credibility if you’re one of them. I simply need “experts” to prove their expertise to me. We should all require that. There are a lot of experts out there by name only, and if you’re a true expert, then this bothers you as well.
There needs to be a better qualifier of expertise than the relative nature of one person claiming to be an expert simply because they know more about something that someone else. Luckily there is, and that’s today’s highlighted resource.
I was thinking about this guru/expert thing while reading Tamara Schenk’s (@tamaraschenk) recent post titled, “Why Being An Expert Requires Expertise To Make A Difference.”
First off, there are some great quotations in the post. My favorite one is by Schenk herself:
Being an expert in products and solutions is important, but not enough. To create real value for customers, sales professionals have to be an expert in the customers’ specific business challenges.
Don’t rely on knowledge alone. That message is repeated throughout the post which goes in and out of describing what an expert is and is not. She unpacked this topic nicely.
I’m a big proponent of letting someone else praise you instead of you praising yourself. It’s a powerful thing when someone over you in the hierarchy organically hears good things about you and/or your work. Unsolicited accolades are powerful.
How does it start? By developing a healthy balance of confidence and humility along with a consistent helping of patience. Sometimes you need to do very good work for a very long time before seeing this play out.
Also, being the kind of person who intentionally gives unsolicited praise of specific people to specific people is a great way to get things started. Appreciation for your thoughtful act could eventually come back to you at some point; not in some universal force kind of way, but just because that’s how I’ve seen it play out over and over through the years. Perhaps you have too.
Lastly, I really like that Schenk took the time to explain this often misunderstood aspect of being an expert:
Expertise means also to recognize when their own level of expertise won’t be enough to make a difference for the customer. Including another expert is not a weakness, it is a strength in a customer-core approach and a true sign of conscious collaboration in sales.
The post will take a few minutes to read since she packed so many great thoughts into the resource. It’s worth your time to work through it and then very honestly assess where you can grow as a sales professional, and overall as a person, in light of what you’ve just read.
QUESTION ::: If you might be an expert in something, what is it for you? Has anyone ever called you an expert in this area?
Let’s talk about it…
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