Each new level you ascend in your business may be the best you’ve ever achieved… but as you reach the summit of that particular level, your new vantage points reveals that there is still a bigger mountain — with a higher summit — just ahead of you.
In this blog post, I want to talk about the highest summit you can achieve — the expert status — and why you need to scale THAT summit as quickly as possible to make a difference in your business.
When I say “expert status” I don’t just mean that you know more than most other people. I’m talking “category of one” expert status. You’re not just AN expert in something. You’re THE expert in something.
And if I had to start my biz all over again, I’d do whatever I could to achieve this category-of-one expert status as quickly as humanly possible.
Here’s why you’ll want to become an expert in your category:
1. Experts are automatically credible
If you’re sitting in a seminar and a speaker is introduced as the world’s leading expert in [whatever], you will pay attention even if you aren’t familiar with the speaker. Expertise is credible. (If you’re faking it, it will be revealed soon enough so may I should say “true expertise has long-last credibility”).
2. Experts get paid first
Hat tip to copywriter John Carlton for this one. John Carlton says that experts get paid first, everyone else gets paid last. This is great advice and if you run a business (especially a service-based business) this should be the only reason you need to become an expert because getting paid first means no accounts receivables!
3. Experts get paid more
Don’t misunderstand me: Experts deliver more to get paid more. However, in my experience, the amount they get paid for what they deliver is proportionately higher than what non-experts get paid. You might say that experts don’t necessarily deliver a higher volume but higher value to get paid what they charge.
4. Experts are sought after
Most businesses spend a good chunk of their day searching for clients. With experts, it’s the other way around: Prospective clients are the ones seeking out the experts. The experts are in a position of power in the transaction, deciding who they will work with.
5. Experts have a long waiting list
Some businesses might find themselves temporarily booked up so that if they have to turn a customer away, that customer will simply go somewhere else. But a well-positioned expert has a long line of people who are eagerly waiting for the expert’s next availability and will wait as long as necessary for that expert.
6. Experts provide recommendations
When a business delivers its product or service, there is sometimes an unspoken question hanging in the air as if the business asks the client: “Is this what you were looking for?” or “Will this work for you?”. On the other hand, an expert makes recommendations and has the confidence that his or her recommendations will deliver exactly the solution that the client needs.
7. Experts are quoted by others
The insight and thought-leadership of experts is frequently quoted by other people — both by the expert’s target market and by the people who are still scaling that summit of expertise but have not achieved full expert status yet.
8. Experts have names that sell
When someone is still climbing the foothills of business, simply trying to go from “good enough” to “pretty good”, their name doesn’t necessarily hold much cache. The customers those businesses acquire might not care who they work with. But an expert’s name sells. Clients of an expert will not only pay more for the expert but they’ll boast to their peers that they worked with the expert. They’ll “borrow” some of the expert’s name credibility because it has significant value.
9. Experts are self-fulfilling
I added this one just before publishing this post. It’s something I’ve been thinking about lately and I haven’t been able to fully articulate it yet… but I’ll try: Experts are self-fulfilling in that what they say is true. If an expert says something, it becomes true (even if it wasn’t true before) because their stating it makes it so, and because their audience may unwittingly participate in making it true.