A while ago I had a discussion with someone about the word “expert”. Though this other person has over 20 years experience in her profession and is highly regarded by her clients and her peers, she felt the label “expert” was not hers to wear. Or, at least she was uncomfortable claiming the label herself, apparently preferring her clients do it for her.
I disagreed with her. Completely.
An expert, according to dictionary.com is:
“a person who has special skill or knowledge in some particular field; specialist; authority: a language expert.”
This fits what I think of as an expert. If you have a substantial amount of experience in your field, relative to your peers, and you’re considered knowledgeable and skilled by your clients, then I think it’s fair to call you an expert.
If your business or profession is one you are passionate about and you have some natural talents for it, in addition to significant experience and skills, then you can rightly call yourself an expert.
If you are able to help your customers in a unique way that helps them and you can do this better than your competition, then it’s perfectly reasonable to call yourself an expert.
In fact, if you are going to offer your skills, your talents, your advice to people as you provide a product or service, I think you have an obligation to be an expert. You owe it to your customers.
Unless you have a local monopoly or you’re happy selling on price, then why wouldn’t you want to be an expert in your business? It sure would make marketing a lot easier. The more you know about your business and how you can help your customers, the better you can tell your story to them. The better able you are to match your services with your customers.
And, when you get known as an expert, people come to you. Call it buzz marketing, referrals or word of mouth, it’s all the same. A reputation as someone who is very good at what you do makes it easier to attract new customers. People hear about you. They find you because they want someone who is an expert.
Think about. How many of us want to do business with people who are mediocre or average? I have trouble seeing myself bragging about how average my dentist is.(He’s not. He’s actually one of the best in Minnesota.)
We want to be proud of who we do business with. We want to brag about them. It’s cool to tell our friends how good our auto mechanic is or how smart our accountant is. When we choose to do business with the best, we gain in status simply by association. Plus we feel good that we’re getting the best service or product we can get for the money.
So, as someone who provides a service or product, plan your business around this concept. If you’re not an expert become one. Don’t lie or misrepresent yourself. Do what it takes to become an expert.