The ultimate goal of your digital sales strategy is to become the trusted expert.
You want to be the go-to person in your industry. The person that people go to for advice and help with problems related to the subject matter you sell into.
If you achieve the status of a trusted expert, you build a level of authority and trust that elevates your position as a consultative salesperson. People will want to work with you because of the reputation you have built for yourself.
The Go-To Person
Who do you go to when you are having trouble with your car?
Who do you ask for help when you have a question about your taxes?
Who do you call when you have a health question?
The “who” we answer for these types of questions are the go-to people in our lives. These people we trust will provide helpful information based on their knowledge, network, and past advice.
For instance, my friend Tony is a mechanically inclined person. He works on cars, motorcycles, boats, you name it. Anything with a motor, Tony probably has some experience with it. So when I have a question related to something with a motor, I call Tony first.
But here is the important thing – I listen to Tony’s advice. Because he is my trusted expert, my go-to person, when it comes to mechanical things. If he tells me I need to buy something, change something, or look at something, I do it.
Tony has demonstrated that he is knowledgeable in that subject matter. Because of this position of authority, and the fact he’s in my social network, I have an inherent trust in what he says. More trust than even a mechanic at my local dealership where I service my vehicle.
Your goal is to be the Tony of your industry. You want to be that trusted excerpt, that go-to person, that people want to work with.
How to Become The Trusted Expert
Becoming a trusted expert is foundational in the world of digital sales. Your personal brand online is how people will judge your expertise, authority, and ability to help them.
If you are committed to developing a digital sales strategy, becoming a trusted expert should be a primary focus of your activities.
Here are three components to get started:
- Establish Your Brand – Work on establishing your personal brand. What do people think of when they hear your name? Clearly define what you do, who you do it for, and how you help them. Make sure this messaging is clear across your profiles and digital content.
- Build Your Network – Trust is scaled through networks. This means you must intentionally build your social network and engage with people in your industry. Connect, follow, comment, share, like, etc., to expand that web of people to whom your personal brand is visible.
- Create Educational Content – Become the favorite teacher of your industry. Regularly publish educational and helpful content related to your industry (not just your product). If you answer common questions, share insights, and explain concepts, people will recognize you as an expert in your subject matter.
I like to think of the “trusted expert” status as a scale of achievement. It’s not an overnight flip that can be made, but rather an ongoing improvement as your authority grows in your industry.
As the trust in your personal brand and expertise grows, you’ll find more opportunities come your way, and sales interactions are less about selling, and more about helping your prospect make their desired change.