8 Keys to Coming Off as the Expert in Whatever You Sell

The most successful salespeople in the world don’t come across as salespeople at all. Instead, they carry themselves as experts in their industry who can solve key challenges for their ideal prospects. Simply put, if you’re in the business of selling, then you’re an expert in whatever you sell. It’s up to you to make sure your prospects know it.

While your prospects only see what’s going on at their own companies, you can offer them a valuable bird’s eye view of trends across the entire industry. But do your customers see it that way? If not, it’s because you’re coming off as salesy instead of as an expert.

Related: The 15 Characteristics of People Who Succeed at Sales

The following eight simple keys will help you build a reputation as an expert in whatever you sell, so you can earn prospects’ trust and start to crush your sales goals:

1. Don’t think like a salesperson.

If you want to come across as an expert to your prospects, you must first stop being salesy. That means you have to stop thinking like a salesperson. When you think like a salesperson, you jump at any chance to pitch your product or service. Instead, slow down and listen. Strive to identify if your prospects are a fit in the first place. Thoughtful intentionality is the first step towards being viewed as an expert in the eyes of your customers.

2. Adopt a doctor’s mindset.

Instead of thinking like a salesperson, try adopting the mindset of a doctor. I’ve never met a doctor who used a pitch like, “We have this incredible new procedure that I just can’t wait to tell you about! It’s going to change everything!” Rather, good doctors ask questions to make sure they truly understand your pain before making a diagnosis. Mimic this approach by making it your goal to fully understand your prospects’ deepest frustrations before you ever propose a solution.

3. Lose the P.E.P.

Most salespeople are full of P.E.P. — Persuasion, Enthusiasm and Pitching. They’ve been told that this is the key to closing more sales, but it simply isn’t true. If you have to persuade a prospect, then that prospect probably isn’t a good fit for what you sell. Enthusiasm comes off as salesy and insincere. And pitching is the opposite of trying to understand a prospect’s problem. Instead of turning your sales meeting into a P.E.P. rally, adopt a genuine approach that seeks to understand and diagnose key challenges. When you do, prospects will view you as an expert they can trust.

Related: You Have 3 Goals the First Time You Meet a Potential Client. Popularity Is Not One of Them.

4. Share challenges you’ve observed.

As an expert, you have valuable industry information that your prospects would love to know. Capture their attention and increase your perceived value by sharing some of that information at the start of your conversations with prospects. Try listing a few examples of challenges you’ve seen in their industry. This will provide value, give the prospect something to relate to and serve as a launching-pad for some great discussion.

5. Ask about their challenges.

Once you’ve shared a few common challenges you’ve observed, simply ask, “Do any of these challenges ring true to you?” Simple questions like this create more value when you sell, in addition to engaging prospects and encouraging them to open up to you. If you can get someone to articulate a challenge that they’ve yet to share with anyone else, you’ll immediately gain respect as an authority in your field who can tap into, and ultimately resolve, big problems.

6. Know when to walk away.

What do you do if you ask, “Do any of these challenges ring true to you?” and your prospect answers “no?” Well, if a prospect doesn’t have the challenges you can solve, then it’s probably not a good fit. When this happens, you must be willing to disqualify. Walk away without looking back so that you can spend your time with qualified prospects instead. Customers will respect and trust you more when they notice you aren’t trying to push a product they don’t need.

7. Remember the 15 percent rule.

Salespeople should never talk for more than 15 percent of a meeting. Talking doesn’t put you in control of a conversation; great questions do. Engaged body language, thoughtful questions and small prompts such as, “really?” are all great tools to keep the customer talking. Follow this rule, and prospects will view you as a thoughtful listener and an expert.

Related: How to Close Deals Without Coming Off as Salesy

8. Never need a sale.

In all fairness, there may be times when you really do need a sale to pay your bills, but prospects should never be able to tell. When you come across as successful and confident, prospects will believe you don’t need their business. Instead, you’re simply meeting with them because you think your offering will truly help them. Relaxed confidence is attractive to prospects, and an air of success will suggest that you’re an established expert in your field.

You’re already an expert in your industry. Now it’s time to act like one. Which of these keys will you use to establish yourself as an expert in the eyes of your prospect? Take this free 1-Minute Sales Strengths-Finder Quiz for even more insight into improving your sales strategy.

Article originally posted by entrepreneur.

This entry was posted in Business. Bookmark the permalink.
5 Work Laptops With 10+ Hours of Battery Life
Uncategorized

5 Work Laptops With 10+ Hours of Battery Life

For some small business owners, long battery life is the single most important feature a work laptop can have. If you're one of the many entrepreneurs who work long days, often away from a power source, and want a laptop that works as long and hard as you do, this…

Read

How to Make Amazon Prime Work for Your Business
Uncategorized

How to Make Amazon Prime Work for Your Business

Amazon Prime is a membership program designed to offer customers perks for loyalty to the retail giant. Consumers who sign up for a $99 annual fee (or opt for a $12.99 monthly fee) enjoy free two-day shipping, free streaming of video and music, and access to e-books. But businesses also…

Read

She Proved That Nothing Can Get In The Way of Determination
Business

She Proved That Nothing Can Get In The Way of Determination

Shariah Edwards simply graduated from Power Center Academy High School, a contract school in Memphis, Tennessee. Presently, she's looked with an assignment numerous current secondary school graduates must do - - pick which school of those she was acknowledged to she needs to go to. Be that as it may, Shariah's circumstance…

Read

Best Travel Sites for Businesses
Uncategorized

Best Travel Sites for Businesses

Falling victim to an eleventh-hour business trip is unavoidable. You're working on a project, firing on all cylinders with your employees and clients, and then a massive hurdle comes your way: You need to touch base with clients in Seattle, and you need to be there in two and a…

Read

Management Theories Every Small Business Owner Should Know
Uncategorized

Management Theories Every Small Business Owner Should Know

Small business owners and managers can benefit from learning about the theorists whose work has given rise to many of the leadership approaches as well as the best (and worst) practices used to guide and grow organizations of all sizes. By putting these approaches within a larger historical context, business…

Read

9 Best Apps for Jira
Uncategorized

9 Best Apps for Jira

You may know Atlassian's Jira as a bug-tracking and software development package. But it's so much more than that now. For small businesses, Jira can help teams organize and manage a diverse array of projects, processes, and tasks for a spectrum of non-technical business specialties like law, HR, marketing, finance,…

Read

Don’t Wait for the Government: Entrepreneurs Are Keeping America Great
Business

Don’t Wait for the Government: Entrepreneurs Are Keeping America Great

Entrepreneurs are helping their local communities by introducing products and technologies for new markets across the country. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Although popularized by Donald Trump, the “Make America Great Again” slogan goes back to Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign. It's associated with politics, but the idea isn’t about…

Read

10 Essential Tips for Effective Inventory Management
Uncategorized

10 Essential Tips for Effective Inventory Management

Inventory management is a crucial piece of a business's profitability, but a lot of SMBs don't practice good management practices when it comes to the items they sell. It makes sense that having too little inventory is a detriment to a business. Customers become frustrated when the items they're looking…

Read

People Who Are Struggling To Pay The Bills are Turning to THIS
Uncategorized

People Who Are Struggling To Pay The Bills are Turning to THIS

Shariah Edwards simply graduated from Power Center Academy High School, a sanction school in Memphis, Tennessee. Presently, she's looked with an undertaking numerous ongoing secondary school graduates must do - - pick which school of those she was acknowledged to she needs to go to. In any case, Shariah's circumstance is remarkable,…

Read

How to Improve Your Attitude in a Matter of Minutes
Business

How to Improve Your Attitude in a Matter of Minutes

Jack Canfield recommends a few tips for giving your mood an instant facelift. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The power of changing your attitude can have a great impact on your life overall. Staying aware of your attitude on a daily basis can dramatically improve how your life will pan…

Read