In Sales, It is Important to Position One’s Self as an Expert

Being the expertIn this world of ever-expanding knowledge, it is becoming more and more critical that professionals position themselves as industry experts.

This advice also goes for salespeople, as an article in Entrepreneur Magazine says that positioning one’s self as an industry expert is crucial for salespeople. The article also offers advice to sales reps who wish to do so.

The first tip given is to research trade organizations that one’s customers might belong to and to join them as an associate or vendor member if possible. This will help salespeople get a feel for the concerns of their customers that they might not be able to get anywhere else.

Another piece of advice offered is to read trade journals and other such publications. This will not only further one’s knowledge of an industry but it will likely provide for topics of conversation when one speaks with his or her customers.

Other advice in the article includes ethically researching one’s competitors, speaking to other salespeople about trends they may have noticed in the industry and to dress one notch above one’s customers, as this can give the appearance of expertise.

Barrett Riddleberger, the CEO of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm, said that there are other factors in positioning one’s self as an expert as well.

“Positioning yourself as an ‘industry’ expert is also about understanding how the organization actually uses your products and services,” the CEO said. “Buyers don’t want a ‘generic’ sales presentation. Instead, they want and need a targeted solution.”

Riddleberger points out that customers in different industries utilize one’s products in unique ways, and understanding these differences, which can often be small but still important, can give salespeople a leg up on the competition.

“Knowing the subtle differences between industries regarding how they use your products and services sets you apart from sales reps who are selling the same products the same way to everyone – regardless of the industry,” Riddleberger said.

An effective sales training program would likely instruct new hires in the importance of positioning one’s self as an industry expert in the world of sales. In addition, proper sales management would include ensuring that employees are keeping up on the latest trends in the industries to which they sell.