Every week, I share new ideas and strategies on how you can be a more effective salesperson. Today, I want to share how you can and should become a subject matter expert to your customers. Hit subscribe so you get all the new videos I release every week. I want you to engage and immerse yourself in this content, so you can be more successful.
I feel like I could be a subject matter expert to you, and you could then be a subject matter expert to your customers, so here’s 10 ways to be seen as an expert by your customers:
1. Ten Burning Questions
What do I mean by this? What ten burning questions do your customers most likely need answers to?
If you want to be a subject matter expert, you have to be able to bring answers to their ten burning questions. It takes time. I also want you to write down ten burning questions. What ten burning questions do your customers have? Create answers to them as you also answer their ten burning questions. You’ll see how much that increases your level of knowledge and enables you to share that with them. That takes me to number two…
2. Create Key Lists
One of the things I do each week is put out a video of ten key things that you can do to become a better salesperson. I put these lists out there as a way to be seen as a subject matter expert in sales. You can do the same thing and be seen in the same way. Create key lists.
You’re probably saying that you just can’t share them with your customer. That’s not true. Yes, you can share it with them. Put together a document and then email it to them. Ask if you can share it with them. You’ll be surprised at how quickly they will start to see you in a different light. Also, put it out on LinkedIn, social media, a blog if you have one, whatever it might be. Create a key list so people can understand your expertise.
3. Ask Tough Questions
Subject matter experts are not shy to ask difficult questions. Don’t be afraid to ask the kinds of questions that a lot of people don’t even think about. The customer may respond with “Wow, I hadn’t thought about that.”
Subject matter experts are always willing to ask questions that the customer does not have the answer to nor do they have the answer to, but that’s exactly how they become a subject matter expert. Why? Because those kinds of questions push them, they push them to go further.
4. Share Insights
Pick up a piece of information and share it. I will routinely email or copy. It could be something you just saw in a book or online, in an article or something. Routinely, I try to share information that’s valuable and insightful.
5. 30 Minutes / Day
Discipline yourself to spend 30 minutes every day learning about your industry, your niche. Learn what you need. Commit to doing this for 30 minutes each day, and in six months, you’ll be a subject matter expert. This will give you a deep dive into your industry consistently. Now, you’re not going to know everything. However, you’ll know more than 95% percent than everyone else.
6. SME Peers
Surround yourself with people that are also subject matter experts. Spend time with those that are experts in their field, in a variety of topics / subjects. Personally, I have certain people that I call when I need help on this or this, in this industry or that. I nurture these people, but I know who these people are, so I can call them. This allows me to expand my knowledge base to help me better serve my customers.
7. Multiple Contacts
Well, this takes SME contacts and blows it wide open. Not only do you want to associate with more subject matter experts, but you want to know as many people as possible. The more people who know you, the more people will call you. The more people call you, the more you’re able to share your insights. The more insights you share, the more you’ll be seen as a sales expert – knowing how it all works.
It doesn’t do you any good to be a subject matter expert who shares with no one. You always want to have multiple contacts. With every customer I work with, I want to have multiple people who I can reach out to. Keep in mind not every customer will have the same number of multiple contacts, though.
In a short time, you can be seen as a subject matter expert when you talk to so many different people in a variety of areas. I can’t tell you the number of times when I’ve lost out on business because I didn’t do that. I also can tell you the numerous times I have gained business because I have done that.
8. Industry Associations
Are you involved with them? Are you connected? Do you even know what industry associations are? Industry associations are all involved, all designed around expertise. If you want to be an expert in your field, you need to engage with these groups. Now, your schedule and time might not allow you to become super engaged, but you should still know what they’re doing. Be an active contributor. Be a helper. Subject matter experts are those who give rather than get.
9. Social Media
So, are you sharing your insights on LinkedIn? Are you sharing insights on various blog posts? I know a gentleman known without a doubt as a subject matter expert. He has five sights that he regularly goes out to. One of them is LinkedIn and the other four are industry sites. He focuses on them, and that allows him to be seen as a subject matter expert.
Subject matters experts are not world matter experts. They are very tight on one subject and the people that deal with that subject on a regular basis.
These come into play very simply. Your stature, your level increases dramatically when you can say that you have shared with this class or helped this professor. Look for various institutions – I can think of four or five right now that I am engaged with on a daily basis. I thoroughly enjoy working with them and it helps raise my stature as a subject matter expert.
There you go! Those are the ten things you can do now to work towards becoming a subject matter expert. I hope I’m seen by you as a subject matter expert. That is why I wrote the books, High-Profit Prospecting and A Mind for Sales. Pick up a copy of both today.
Copyright 2020, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.