Order-taker or World Shaker? Positioning up
The easiest way to position yourself as an expert is to allow the other person to talk. Seems like the simplest thing in the world, right?
Why this so difficult:
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” —Stephen R. Covey
Yup, I’ve done it myself. I’m eager to help. I want to solve your problem. The challenge is if I resolve your immediate dilemma, I may be missing the underlying real need you have.
Think about this: when you visit the physician, do you go in and say, “I need an antibiotic” and does your doctor immediately whip out the prescription pad—wham, bam, thank-you, Ma’am? Or, does he or she asked you about the symptoms you are experiencing, when it started, anything unusual in your environment or any medication you might be taking, listening to your story to get a comprehensive picture of your situation before diagnosing your real issue and prescribing the best solution?
The first doc is an order-taker, a pleaser, one who gives you what you’ve asked for, but not necessarily what you need. The second doctor is listening with the intent to understand—and give you a real solution. Who is the expert?
The same is true with how you position your brand. A lot of companies rush to be of service and allow themselves to become order-takers. But you can position up. When prospective clients call with an immediate issue, you have an opportunity to listen, learn and then advise the best—not necessarily the priciest—course of action. You showcase your expertise and position yourself as someone who wants to support their success, build an on-going relationship and not just provide a Band-Aid solution. When you listen with their best interest in mind, you can shake their world.
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