Become a Trusted Expert
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Take a moment to consider the amount of job-related knowledge you possess. Impressed yet? Because others likely are. In fact, your experience and know-how are assets you can use to draw consumers to your doorstep. It’s called becoming a trusted expert - and we explain how to do so in these easy steps:
1. Show Your Smarts
You’re watching the home network and a commercial comes on about roofing. Except the pitchman isn’t barking at you to buy - he’s showing how to tell if your current roof needs replacing. Sharing your expertise this way is a great way to build trust with consumers. First, it shows that you’re interested in helping more than selling. What’s more, it associates your business with best practices and techniques, another benefit.
2. Focus on Teachable Moments
It’s natural to want to sell whenever you have the chance. But trusted experts sell softly by leading with their expertise. For example, if you run an automotive repair business, a workshop on routine maintenance will reduce skepticism. If you’re a financial advisor, a seminar on asset allocation will engage rather than put prospects on guard. When the prospect of a hard sell is replaced by the prospect of learning, consumers open up.
3. Choose Your Tactics
There are many ways you can let the marketplace know you’re an expert resource. Some businesses include helpful blogs on their websites. Others may post useful information on their Facebook pages or on YouTube. Still, others prefer to make personal appearances at trade shows or call-in radio shows. Infographics and white papers have also distinguished companies for their expertise. When it comes to tactics, it’s really up to you to choose which ones are right for your business.
4. Make Expertise Part of Your Business DNA
If you really want to become a trusted expert, every facet of your business must work together to develop a culture that conveys this. Start by hiring smart employees and providing the training they need to excel. Develop vendor networks that use the latest technology and challenge you to keep up. As the business owner, stay ahead of the curve by attending the latest industry seminars and getting the latest training. Set an example of expert behavior that resonates through your business.
5. Create a Secure, Trustworthy Environment
Trust is a fragile thing that can easily be broken by security breaches or the actions of an employee who steals. Make sure your website is safe, and that it offers secure payment methods. Screen hires and check references to ensure your employees are honest. Protect customer account and credit card information. If something does go wrong, correct it immediately and be transparent about it.
6. Consider Marketing and Branding
Some companies articulate their expertise through the use of tag lines, such as “the trusted name in flooring,” or “where experience makes a difference.” If you truly feel you have the expertise edge, you may want to take a similar approach. For insights into building a brand around a concept of trust, check here.
Becoming a trusted expert doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the result of many factors that combine to create an overall impression. By following the steps shown here, you can take productive, meaningful steps toward reaching this goal.