How can you position yourself as a trusted authority to your ideal prospects?
Scott Cantrell, who says his clients have generated more than $ 100 million of additional revenues by becoming trusted authorities, believes the answer comes down to three words: “Insight inspires influence.”
To help clients have more influence and insight, Cantrell and his firm Smart Solutions Media works with business owners and professionals who want to attract high-value prospects and acquire more profitable clients by positioning them as trusted authorities.
“If you want to have a position of preeminence and become a trusted authority, then you must share your insights, and they must be clear, compelling, and consistent,” says Cantrell.
Trusted authorities who consistently provide insight to the marketplace affirm the need (and desire) to hear from them, follow them, learn from them and work with them.
Below are four actionable strategies Cantrell advocates that can position a consultant or professional as a trusted authority:
Maximize your visibility via value. “The first step to attracting high-value clients is consistently accessing and engaging the right decision makers. However, the goal should not merely be awareness but attention. By consistently and freely sharing meaningful value in the form of content like infographics, tools, and videos, over time, you will naturally be seen by your prospective clients as a true thought leader.”
Leverage the power of a passionate point-of-view. “Don’t be afraid to have an opinion and stick to it. Of course, it has to make sense and you have to be able to defend your position especially if it’s contrarian. By strategically establishing a clear, well-defined, and compelling philosophy, you will automatically attract decision makers who share or are fascinated by that specific point-of-view.”
Show off your skills. “Authority comes from the demonstration of your knowledge, your skill, and your ability to get meaningful results for those you serve. The more people who experience your ability to help them, the more who will become clients. Consider how your product, service, or solution can best be experienced by a prospect; then deliver those demonstrations letting them takeaway meaningful value before they ever formally become a client.
Deliver memorable methodology. “Not your product, service or solution, but rather your methodology is your single most sustainable competitive advantage. Develop and name your own approach. Next, create a short assessment process for potential clients that naturally leads them to two conclusions: they need help and you’re the one to provide that help.”
In my opinion, what Cantrell calls memorable methodology I call proprietary process. Based on my interviews with successful client rainmakers it is a game changer.
Nashville-based business consultant David Baker says one of the most common mistakes a service firm can make is not having a defined, proprietary process. Writing in his newsletter Persuading (available through his website), Baker highlights several reasons why a memorable methodology is important.
“Process is differentiating, highlighting the uniqueness of your firm with a process that you own,” says Baker. Other advantages he cites are that a process demonstrates your experience, makes your work less accidental and will even allow you to charge more. “Clients are always willing to pay more for packages than individual hours within a fee structure.”
A great memorable methodology, however, is never a cookie-cutter industry standard lifted from a textbook. Instead, it codifies a firm’s particular method of problem-solving, typically identifying and sequencing multiple steps that often take place in the same, defined order. The process name should be trademarked to show that you value this piece of intellectual property.
Creating your memorable methodology is a great place to start to become a trusted authority who attracts high-paying clients.