Friday, July 6, 2012

Simplistic Expertise

I have contended in the past that there are no experts. To me, the term seems a finite distinction. As if to suggest that said "expert" knows everything there is to know about a certain subject. In this day and age of constant progression knowledge attainment has no cap. Thus my opposition to the expert title.

In actuality, one might exhibit expertise by presenting a laser focused solution to a problem with swift precision. As noted above, the information is readily accessible. So, you too can pretend to be an expert by practicing this simple 3 step process:
1. Know the extended purpose of your product
2. Research for validation
3. Engage

A Salesperson vs. A Consultant
After a particularly long day, I sat at a bar stool to reflect on my achievements. My moment of introspection was ruined by the loud mouth next to me. He was explaining to two young ladies the art of succeeding in sales using catch phrases, half baked statistics, and a plethora of stereotypes. He was opinionated, sharp tongued, and incredibly inaccurate. The young ladies bought his spiel hook, line, and sinker. They will spend the next 10 years of their career dispelling his bad advise.

Why people hate salespeople:
- They talk without listening
- They speak in terms of product function (not extended purpose)
- They sight personal experience as if it were applicable to everyone

In his book, Start With Why, Simon Sinek explains in simple terms that people don't buy what you do they buy why you do it. Much like Jim Collins, Sinek's contention is that discounts are transactional but committed purpose is irreplaceable. In essence, the most important function in sales is listening, not talking.

Let's say I sell training software. I could tell you the intricacies of the 5 part model. Or, I could simply prove that I know your need, that I have a solution, and that we are speaking the same language.

Express WHY your product matters not WHAT it does.

WHY it matters to YOU
We underestimate the simplicity of making meaningful connections. You don't lace a pitch into your personal conversations. You would tell a friend directly if you think your company would be a good fit to partner with his/hers. I am unsure of our apprehension to approach every interaction in a similar manner. We tend to believe that we need to exhibit the contrary, your buyer appreciates candor more than anything. The boss has asked the fact finder to investigate based on a few questions. Not necessarily to determine the effective nature of your service but rather to gage if your response seems genuine. People will not partner with someone who answers a yes/no question with a verbose 20 minute diatribe.

People don't buy WHAT you do they buy WHY you do it.

If I am sitting next to you instead of preaching to you, my odds for winning your trust are much simpler. If I live on your block, understand your plight, and am emotionally involved in the cause WE represent...odds are you would trust me to represent your best interest. Instead, we pretend that we can drop in on a helicopter pad, make a speech to concerned citizens, and pretend to know WHY they need what we represent.

The process of expertise is the ability to understand a need, establish trust, and to present a solution without discomfort.

What if you were never uncertain walking into another meeting. All you have to do is:
a. Know why you do what you do
b. Google to find proof
c. Create a You and I relationship to replace Us and Them

Don't Forget to Remember


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