The world is full of bad advice
With all the information that is available on the Internet, finding nuggets of good advice is more daunting than ever. So, how can you tell the really good advice from the mediocre or flat-out bad advice? The truth is you can’t. But following these guidelines can help.
Good advice comes in the form of proof
Would you hire a lawyer who ‘claimed’ to be the best? Maybe, but you’d more likely hire a lawyer who gave good advice to someone you know, or one that just won a big case like yours. Either option — knowing you have an expert in the law as it pertains to you — would provide a level of comfort. When you need a lawyer, you look for a firm or a person with a particular skill set. You want your lawyer to be a Subject Matter Expert.
A Subject Matter Expert (SME) is exactly what it implies — an authority in a particular subject, topic or area.
What you can learn from a lawyer (hold the lawyer jokes, please)
Most lawyers don’t advertise in the traditional sense. Imagine if law firms had advertisements like car companies. Would you use the services of a lawyer because they were having an end-of-the-month clearance sale? What if they offered zero percent financing? Would you hire that lawyer? Not likely.
We rely on SME’s all the time
Your accountant, like your lawyer, is a Subject Matter Expert. Your accountant paints a picture of your financial state that positions you in the best possible light when you want a loan or attempt to raise money. Your accountant helps you avoid penalties at tax time.
One of the best ways to improve your standing in your industry is to be recognized as a Subject Matter Expert (SME).
Why is it important to become an SME?
Subject Matter Experts:
- Are leaders in their field.
- Establish trust quickly.
- Are chosen by the media more often as sources of information.
- Are sought-after as speakers, presenters and industry representatives.
- Are the people you want to be associated with and conduct business with.
- Become the go-to vendors in their industry.
Simply stated, SME’s are trusted advisors that prospects are more likely to buy from. SME’s move quickly through the buyer qualification process and gracefully bypass speed bumps during the sales process. They minimize questions like “Who are you?” and “Why should we do business with you?”
The good news is that anyone with in-depth knowledge of your products or services can become an SME. The opportunity exists for you to influence your own reputation.
Being an SME is worthless unless you communicate it
In addition to the content you produce (you are producing content, aren’t you?) your blog, your FAQ page, testimonials, LinkedIn profile and other offerings provide a vehicle to connect with prospects and customers and prove to them that you are the Subject Matter Expert they should be doing business with.
You can even be recognized as an SME in areas other than the products you sell, such as on-boarding of new clients or customer service. Making sure your prospects know that you will take good care of them after they have made a purchase can become a competitive advantage for your company.
The Benefits of Being a Subject Matter Expert
To maintain leadership in any field means having to constantly keep up with the latest industry news and trends, knowing what’s working and what’s not.
SME’s are continuous learners. They practice what they preach and teach others what they know. A leadership role in your industry is rewarding and provides benefits beyond the reach of an ordinary company. When you are an SME in your field, you’ll become the envy of your competition.
Becoming an SME is not easy. It takes time, but you will find it is definitely worth it when you can share your knowledge to convert potential clients into paying customers.
Want to become the Go-To vendor in your industry? We’ll teach you how!
What have you done to position yourself as a SME?
Share it in the comments section below.
To learn more about Crest, go to www.crestconsultingllc.com or contact me anytime.
At Crest, we help companies
- Create content that separates them from their competition
- Become subject matter experts in their field
- Measure the effectiveness of their marketing $$
- Generate a consistent pipeline of high-quality leads for less
- Turn clients into evangelists