In Marketing and Sales

How do you want to be seen by prospects – a salesman or a Forbes 500 businessman?

Speeding up the sales process is critical in any business and if you want to do just that, you have to learn how to present yourself to prospects as a trusted expert, not just a commodity.

Adam Witty is the Founder and CEO of Advantage Media Group – ForbesBooks, an authority marketing and publishing company. It’s Forbes’ first foray into the book publishing world.

He definitely knows a thing or two when it comes to grabbing attention and being able to present a product or service to a prospect in a way they can better make decisions. Today, Adam dishes out the 7 Pillars of Authority Marketing.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Adam:

The Biggest Marketing Mistake Entrepreneurs Make:

Many salespeople tend to commoditize themselves. They talk, think, and act like everybody else. However, in this very competitive world of business, you need to get people’s attention.

So you need to do the opposite and stand out above the crowd. Strategically and systematically position yourself as an authority of whatever you do, regardless of the industry you’re in.

The Principle of Authority Marketing

If you spent more than twelve months at something you do, you know more about that one thing than 99.99% of the population. You become an expert in that very narrow niche topic. Unfortunately, we don’t recognize this.

Exploit the fact that you know so much about this topic and then build this into a marketing plan.

Your Best Marketing Tool: Write a Book on What You’re an Expert At

Write a book related to what you sell of course. And when you both sit down with that prospect, pull out a copy of your book. Autograph it to them and slide it across the table.

This completely changes the dynamics and it takes you from being a salesperson to a trusted authority. The prospect is now curious about what you have to share with them. You are now seen as an unwanted pest to a trusted guest.

The 7 Pillars of Building Authority

1. Content Marketing

This is when you publish your expertise through a book, an article, a white paper, an article about you, a blog post, a podcast, a webinar, an audio interview, etc.

This idea is that if you have something interesting and important to say to the right kind of person and you put that information in front of them, they’re going to listen to and consume that information. Then they will most likely want to engage with you.

Instead of pushing yourself towards the prospects, you’re actually pulling the prospects towards you.

2. Branding an Omnipresence

Are you seen as a salesman or an authority? This depends on how you show up – physically and online. What comes up when a prospect looks you up on Google?

Start with your LinkedIn Page and having a personal brand website. What is your personal brand and how is that represented online?

Through your personal branding website, you’re able to tie back into your content marketing (links to your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or whatever social media platform you’re using for your business).

What is your personal brand? Do you look like a salesman or a Fortune 500 CEO?

3. PR & Media

People won’t believe what you say about you but they do about what other people say about you. If you want to get the media, you have to give the media something to talk about (ex. book launch, compelling research)

The media is not the business of helping you grow your business But it’s in the business of reporting news or creating stories they think will be interesting to their audience.

4. Speaking

If you speak a lot, you are seen as an expert. Otherwise, they wouldn’t allow you to speak at an event.

You don’t have to be a professional speaker but you have to be able to speak about that thing you’re passionate about and you’re speaking to the right people.

When you’re speaking, you’re wearing that Fortune 500 suit and you have a command of the audience.

This is also your way to generate leads for your business.

5. Lead Generation

Bottom line, you need leads. But you attract really high-quality leads when you’re a magnet versus (again) pushing yourself towards other people. Nobody is attracted to needy people.

When you’re an authority, your customers brag about you. We create our own image and share that with your customers. Craft an image that your customers will brag about to their friends rather than image of just being a commodity.

6. Referral Marketing

When you’re the authority and customers brag about you, they’re going to talk about you to their friends and refer you to other people.

This is the key to preventing the erosion of margins and getting beaten up on price, and the key to shortening to sales cycle.

Your number one objective in sales is to accelerate the speed of trust. The quicker you build trust with the prospects, the quicker you get to the sales.

Being seen as an authority speeds up the trust. Then customers won’t buy on price but on value. They don’t treat you like a commodity.

7. Events

When you’re an authority, you have the ability to put on events. And when people trust you, you can post meetings, conferences, events, engagements for your customers, your fans, and your champions. Having an authority will get people to come to you.

Adam’s Major Takeaway:

Authority is not conferred upon you. It  will not creep up on you. If you wait for someone else to crown you king or queen, that won’t happen. The most successful people are the ones that have to guts to grab authority for themselves.

Episode Resources:

Grab a free copy of Adam’s new book, Lead the Field: How to Become an Authority and Dominate Your Competition on www.ForbesBooks.com/salesevangelistConnect with Adam Witty on LinkedIn or visit www.AdamWitty.com and www.ForbesBooks.com

Advantage Media Group – ForbesBooks

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