How to Establish Expert Positioning in Your Industry
In this post, we’re going to talk about how to use expert positioning yourself as an expert. If you want people calling you and asking for your help with questions like “we need help with this, we know this is your area, how soon can you start?” Then you need to understand and use expert positioning.
What is Expert Positioning?
How does expert positioning compare with prospecting? Let me give you an example. Have you ever had a heart surgeon call you up and ask you how your heart is? I doubt it. Heart surgeons don’t make cold calls because they understand expert positioning. They know that when you’ve got a problem with your heart, you’re going to be around to see them pretty quickly. And that’s the difference between expert positioning and prospecting. In fact, if you had a heart surgeon knocking on your door this evening trying to sell you on heart surgery, you’d probably think that there was something wrong with his skills. You’d think this even if he was the very best heart surgeon in the world. That’s the difference between expert positioning and prospecting.
Things like networking and cold calling are prospecting techniques. But expert positioning is entirely different. Expert positioning is the one simple change that will turn you from an unwanted pest to an invited guest. When you position yourself as an expert it all starts with you.
Expert positioning is not when people come along and say, “oh, you’re absolutely wonderful,” and put you on a pedestal. It is actually you saying, “this is what I know I’m good at. This is where I’m taking my stand. This is what I’m going to focus on. This is where I’m going to make a difference. And I’m choosing position myself in this way.” So it’s something that starts with you.
Expert positioning is also the way that you turn a buyer’s market into a seller’s market. Expert positioning happens in your mind first, and then your marketing second. Expert positioning will help you reduce the time you have to spend marketing and selling. If you put in some effort and thought into developing your expert positioning, the net result is that you will spend less time selling. Because the moment you’re seen as an expert, you don’t have to work through all the resistance you would have to work through if you were approaching people cold. It’s an entirely different dynamic.
So over time, with expert positioning, you will spend a lot less time selling. That means more time for you to have free time or spend serving customers and getting paid, which will increase your revenue.
To position yourself as an expert means thinking outside the box. If you want to be treated differently from the hordes of people knocking on the door trying to get in. In that case, you have to make the decision to start thinking and acting differently. You have to start treating yourself differently. Don’t think of yourself as just another trainer or another coach or another consultant. When you do that, you lump yourself together with the masses. You must begin thinking of yourself as an expert. So think about a specific market and a particular area that you’re going to concentrate on.
The Wizard of Oz Understood Expert Positioning
The Wizard of Oz really understood expert positioning. There was a massive talk about the Wizard of Oz. Everybody knew about the wizard, and everybody had heard of him. People were going to great lengths and making epic journeys just to go see him. Now, when they got there, what they found out was the Wizard of Oz was basically an old guy behind the curtain pulling some levers. But the thing is, he understood how to position himself.
If people knew from the outset that was all he was doing, there wouldn’t have been a lot of interest. Part of the appeal with The Wizard of Oz was the mystique around him, and that was how word of mouth spread about him.
Expert positioning takes chutzpah. If you’re going to go in being polite and humble, trying to stretch yourself too thin on several different projects, people aren’t going to take you that seriously. But in the world, not just the business world, people will take you as seriously as you take yourself. So expert positioning is an attitude and behavior. It’s you taking your stand, claiming your position, and saying this is what I know I can do.
Now, I’m not saying you should lie or that you should make false claims or try to claim that you can do things that you can’t. But at some point in time, you have accomplished a specific result for a client or customer. It’s time to start talking about your results and putting them out there. Your results are what will open doors for you. That’s the difference between prospecting and expert positioning.
So now it’s over to you. What is one thing you can do this week to start position yourself as the go-to person in your industry? Share your answer in the comments below.