Whether you are venturing into unfamiliar territory or simply want to move to the next level, chances are you will look for someone who is already doing what you want to do. You will seek out an authority. This is a strategy pursued by the most successful people: start on your path with someone who can help you avoid at least some of the pitfalls, and build on his or her experience. So, it follows that a great way to advance your own career is to position yourself as an authority in your field, and have people start looking to you.
Once you get to a high level in your sales career and have a track record of success, it is fairly simple to make that transition to expert. You simply need to let people know. Your record is proof of competence. It shows that you understand the product, the company and the industry. If you do things for the right reasons (i.e. with integrity) you will cultivate a reputation as somebody worthy of respect.
But, that doesn’t mean you can’t become an authority early in your career. Being an authority doesn’t mean you have all the answers. It just means you know how to get them, and can provide accurate information with confidence. On occasion, that may require a willingness to check your ego at the door and bring in someone else who has the answers you need. Clients will appreciate your honesty when you say, “I may not be the expert in this particular area, but I know somebody who is and I would love to have the opportunity to introduce you to him/her.” This establishes exceptionally high levels of credibility and trust. The people who try to do things on their own when they don’t know the answers, rather than get help, are the ones who often lose in the end. Each time you bring in someone else as the expert, you also learn from that person, which puts you one step closer to being the expert yourself. Even if it means having to split commissions once in awhile, it will benefit you in the long run. Conversely, if you stumble through on your own with misinformation or just bad service, you will end up losing business.
Remember, it’s not about you. It’s about the client. Establish yourself as the authority. If you’re not there yet, leverage someone else who is. It will pay huge dividends in the end.
Go Do Great Things,