3. A lack of expertise
The third reason why prospects will not work with you would be that they believe that you are not able to fulfil their needs or wants. Often if a prospect is unsure they will ask questions, and even though they may not know the answers they will want the answers to be explained in a way that puts their mind at ease.
Entrepreneurs often get this mixed up, and there is a distinction that must be acknowledged here, and that is the distinction between features and benefits.
A feature is an attribute of a thing, and a benefit is and end result that is created. A prospect will ultimately want the benefit, although knowledge about features may be part of the decision to purchase a product.
When prospects go about buying a drill, what they ultimately want is a hole in an object over and above the drill. The power of the drill is a feature, and the hole in the object is the benefit.
Often entrepreneurs can speak in ways that alienate their prospects and either leaves them wanting more information, or for the information to be easier to understand, or information that is relevant to the individual requirements of the prospect.
Albert Einstein once stated, ‘If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.’ This is a difficult thing to do and takes a great amount of effort and expertise especially when you are dealing with complex products and services. However it is an essential thing to be able to satisfy the demands of the prospect. This is an important thing to be able to do and is well worth taking time out to explore how to refine your propositions to their essence.
The technology company Google refined its search homepage so that there were only a few essential elements on the page and this innovation dramatically increased their search results. This lesson is very important in regards to expertise because the lesson here is that your focus should be to give your prospects what they want as quickly as possible, and not show them how much you know that may waste their time.
The author and speaker Zig Ziglar used to say, ‘people do not care how much you know, unless they know how much you care about them,’
Ultimately this comes back to the same question that a prospect will always be asking and that is, ‘what is in it for me?’ If you can always answer this question then you will be in a great position to serve the needs of your prospects. Your prospect will believe that you are a consummate expert if you only provide information that is relevant to them.
It is important to do your homework in the areas that will elevate your business. If your business is related to sports then you need to be fully immersed in what is going on within that industry, and the same would apply elsewhere.
A thing to watch out for is whether your areas of interest take you away from your career or business. This may be a signal that you should look at your business strategy, because if you are trying to operate in a business or an industry that you are not passionate about then the chances are that you will not perform at your optimum level unless you operate at a genius level. However those people are extremely rare.
An advisable thing to do is to create a network of experts that operate in your area of business, and in other areas that complement your area. I will expound more about the ability to network at another time.
It is a good idea to go to social and entrepreneurial networking events, parties, gatherings, launches, meetings, lectures, courses, and the like. You may find that even if the content is not of the highest standard, then you may meet people who can aid you on your journey.
Something that is often overlooked in terms of expertise is that ability to learn from all sources regardless of where they come from. The Roman author Horace once wrote, ‘the greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.’
Occasionally a person’s ego can play havoc with their ability to make sound and prudent judgments. Expertise does not come from a person simply because they have an Ivy League or Oxbridge education. Many times a statement from an unexpected or underestimated source can make a significant impact and provide excellent information.
Galileo Galilei once said, ‘I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.’ And yet bias often obscures valuable information, therefore the ability to see, hear and understand where others do not will give you a distinct advantage.
One of the most important other things in regards to expertise is to commit to studying each day in order to improve yourself, and like I have mentioned before the study that you do will be in relation to your industry and business model.
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