Tired of just being another business, another CEO, another sales representative? Want to be known as an expert and have businesses calling you to buy your products or services? Want to be the “go to” person for your industry? Want to be the top income producing sales person in route to the company paid vacation of your dreams?
Who do people gravitate to for business or advice? The answer – an expert. Ok, so you are thinking experts are well-known for their vast experience and they are highly visible. You are probably thinking that you don’t want to wait another five, ten, or fifteen years to gain expert status.
So, what if you could have some quick and easy ways to become an –
HAVE INSTANT VISIBILITY.
BE AN INSTANT SUCCESS.
Over the last several years, I have researched, read, asked questions, observed and basically made it my mission to find out how people become instant experts.
Here are the four (4) keys of those who are experts.
They Know Their Stuff. And, you probably do also. But experts know their business in a different way. They know statistics and interesting facts that relate to what’s happening in the overall business climate TODAY. They are able to tell interesting stories intermingled with hard factual statistics. They marry the “emotion” of the story with the “logic” of the facts. All purchasing decisions (100%) are either made with emotion or with logic or a combination of the both. So, within a few short sentences of a story, experts are able to connect at 100%. Experts can create a “purchase need” where none existed.
How do you put this all together? Well, you already know or at the very least know where to find the factual data you need. Take a few minutes and jot down a list of relevant examples to back up your facts. Now, just put them together like you are telling a story to an old friend. If you are new to this or feel uncomfortable, then write out the stories and factual data pretending you are writing a story about your industry or business. You may want to practice the story several times a day in the beginning or practice with a trusted friend or spouse. Then start trying it out as you begin meeting people. Gage their reaction to you and your story, and then adjust it until you get the reaction that you want. It’s that simple.
They Use Media. Stedman Graham (think Oprah) was asked if he had to bundle Oprah’s entire success into just one word, what would the word be? He responded with the word “media”. The more people you can reach to learn about your product or service, the more likely you are to make a sale. For the most part, as business people, we confuse media with advertising. There is a significant difference in the meaning of the terms. Traditional advertising such as newspaper ads, television commercials, radio spots, website banners, trade magazine ads, are all very effective, but are also very expensive. But, media does not equate to advertising. A timely article in the local newspaper costs you nothing. A feature article in your trade magazine costs you nothing. An interview on TV regarding an interesting topic costs you nothing. An interview on your local radio station costs you nothing, but your media exposure ($$$ value) is beyond measure.
To begin getting media exposure, start by writing an article for your local newspaper. Watch and listen to current news stories and find a good match for your expertise with the news stories of the day. For example, during the Gulf oil spill about a year ago, if your company did research on marine wildlife you could have written an article about how marine wildlife were effected by petroleum based products; or if your business was in human psychology, then you could have written a story on how people deal with crisis situations and offer suggestions that would have benefited those that are affected by disasters. Depending on your business, you could talk with the local newspaper and ask if they would be interested in running a series of articles about something your company specializes in – for example, if you are a financial planner, then you might suggest that you write a series of articles about how the changes in the new laws affect people’s retirement. You can also do the same for radio shows. Radio stations are always looking for new people to interview about relevant events. If you are scheduled to speak at an event, then you can invite your local media to attend the event or at the very least do an interview with you about the topic you will be presenting at the meeting. You can easily find a list of your current media contacts by doing a quick internet search. Be creative.
They Leverage Their Time. We all are familiar with ROI (return on investment), but how many of us understand the concept of ROT (return on time)? Here’s an example: a financial planner was doing an average job of getting new clients, but she was frustrated at only being able to write so many new clients a day until she started using the power of leveraged time. Instead of contacting one or two potential new clients per day – otherwise known as cold calling or sometimes warm calling (a referral), she decided to leverage her time and attract clients that wanted her services. She worked out a partnership with another similar, but not competitive, businesses and set up local informational programs of 20-25 people per session who were seeking information and knowledge about investments and retirement planning. So instead of cold-calling for several hours a day, she spent time with 20-25 people per session who were interested in financial planning services. Think about it, who would be building their client portfolio faster- the person who does one to two cold calls per day or the person who is getting 20-25 hot lead per hour? This lady is now one of the top six (6) professional financial planners in the United States.
A good question to ask is “what action will put me closest to the money?” Experts value their time and they understand the value of their time. This means that you must take a good, hard look at how you are spending your time right now. Start spending your time on things that are critical to your success and ditch, delegate, or revamp everything else.
They Are Visible. Visibility is visibility and it can be achieved in many different ways. You can have your own website (or a special page attached to your company’s website with more detailed information about you, with your company’s permission of course), you can belong to LinkedIn, Twitter, or Face Book or other internet social networking sites. You can write articles for local papers or your trade industry. You can write a special report and email it to your existing clients or others who you want to become your clients. You can write an article for internet dispersion (vertical marketing) that can be picked up by newspapers, TV and radio stations, or anyone who writes blogs or e-zines with a link back to you, the expert. You can quickly become a speaker at local events or within your trade industry. All you need to do is pick interesting and timely topics. Most meeting and conference planners are looking for speakers.
Another way to increase your visibility is to be nominated for awards and then announce that you have been nominated for the award. Don’t be afraid to nominate yourself for an award, that’s actually the way most people get nominated. Then announce again if you win the award.
Also, add to the back of your business card when reprinted (or add a clear label to your current card with key words or a personal tag line you want your customers to remember). One of the best ones I have seen is a regional pharmaceutical representative whose tag line is “I Sell Drugs”. I have only met him once in my life and that was several years ago, but still to this day, I can picture his face and I would know him anywhere, anytime, and I would know exactly what he sells. This is an extreme example, but you get the point.
Now, I always like to give more than I promise. So here’s a bonus tip.
Experts Get Invited to do Joint Ventures: By using these four (4) keys, you can quickly obtain expert status.
Your next step after becoming “an expert” is incredible business opportunities through joint venturing. Joint ventures are business partnership created with reputable business people that create a win-win situation for both businesses as well as their customers. Remember, the theory of six degrees of separation. What used to be considered “pie in the sky” or “unthinkable partnerships” for businesses are within the reach of all businesses today. Joint ventures offer new ways of introducing your product to new markets or through new marketing channels. For example, a lady who wrote a simple little book of the 100 reasons she was glad to have her Mom, through a series of introductions, did a joint venture with one of the largest gift card companies as part of their Mother’s Day offer. The lady received a check for six figures and the gift card company had a huge “special promotion — gift with purchase” for their customers. The gift card company also made a huge profit on the venture.
As an expert your opportunities are endless – paid speaking engagements – authoring a book, being sought after for interviews on national TV, being contracted for prime consulting assignments, or a vast multitude of other incredible opportunities.
Don’t wait to become an expert. Try these four (4) simple ways to gain the status of “expert” almost overnight.
Debra J. “Debbie” Cunningham is the President and CEO of Evergreen Business Strategies located in Williamstown, WV. She is a certified business coach and consultant providing strategic guidance for business owners who want to make huge leaps in their business and personal revenue and in their lifestyles. Visit her website at www.evergreen-business-strategies.com for a list of upcoming programs and F.R.E.E. resources including “15 Quick and Easy Ways to Increase Your Visibility Right Now!