The first time I sold something was in college.
I used to sell digital coupon advertising door to door in my first business.
And of course, as any other human being at that age (19 actually), I felt too shy to ask for the sale.
But guess what?
With time, I realized that age didn’t matter.
And that that shyness was never going to get me to where I wanted to be: having prospects saying “Yes, I will buy your product” every time I’d knock on their doors.
Fast forward to when I started AutoGrow, my first sale was nearly 4x as much revenue as what I made in an entire year working on that first business.
Moral of the story?
When asking for the sale, I stopped feeling uncertain, awkward, or shy.
Instead, I established authority with prospects.
And guess what?
It’s a secret that helps salespeople close more and more sales.
And today, I’ll tell you:
- 11 ways to position yourself as an authority in front of prospective customers.
- How these tips will help you close more deals when interacting with prospects one-on-one or on the phone.
- And why you should ditch the “What if they say no?” mindset and start asking for the sale.
Alright, let me show you what sales are really about and how by establishing authority it’ll be easier than ever to close more sales…
#1 Way to Establish Authority With Prospects: Build Rapport & Nurture the Relationship
When people know you and like you, they’re more likely to buy from you.
So in order to get your prospects interested in whatever it is you’re selling, you need to build sales rapport.
For this, ditch the impersonal, boring, non-empathetic type of sales calls with prospects. And instead:
- Be genuine and authentic
- Share quality, useful information without being too salesy
- Listen and show interest in what your prospects have to say
- Don’t be pushy or annoying
Building rapport will help you nurture the relationship with prospective clients (the same way you do it with your friends).
#2 Way to Establish Authority With Prospects: Show Expertise & Knowledge (You’re the Expert)
When given the choice between 2 businesses, the customer is always going to pick the one that demonstrates more know-how.
The one that is proven in proficiency.
Luckily, it’s easy to display expertise even if you have no proof.
According to Duct Tape Marketing, you should rely on these 3 “Ps”:
- Publish: Demonstrate your expertise through your blog, your newsletters, and your social media content.
- Partner: Team up with other businesses in the same niche and see how you can be of service to their clients or offer to guest blog.
- Podium: Create a valuable presentation and then offer to speak at groups, or even share your work online via YouTube or Facebook.
If you really know what you’re doing, it’ll be evident through your knowledge and expertise.
#3 Way to Establish Authority With Prospects: Provide Value & Educate Prospective Customers With Your Products or Service
We all like a great bargain, right?
When someone is thinking about doing business with you, they want to feel like they’re getting the most bang for their buck.
And here are some great ways to do that:
- Understand what is important to your prospects and what constitutes “value” for them.
- Know your value proposition.
- Identify ways in which you can create value relative to your competitors.
#4 Way to Establish Authority With Prospects: Provide Prospects With an FAQ Section on Your Website & Be Prepared to Answer Any Questions During the Call
If prospects can easily find the answers they need on your website, they won’t search elsewhere (like a competitor’s site).
Over the years, I’ve learned that an FAQ that grows sales should be written by your customers, not you.
Because FAQs need to be written in a voice your customer understands.
That way it will help them get off the fence about buying your products or service. And also, it will help calm customers’ buying fears.
And if for some reason your prospects didn’t get to check your FAQ section on your site, be prepared to answer any of their questions on the call.
#5 Way to Establish Authority With Prospects: Leverage Online Reviews & Use Them in Your Favor
According to Socialnomics, even if you follow the best copywriting formulas that convert and craft the best sales copy ever, it’s not going to be as effective as showcasing positive testimonials from your customers.
In fact, 92% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchasing decision according to Bright Local.
And 72% of them say that positive reviews make them trust a business more.
So if a prospect is on the fence about purchasing your products or service and they can’t find any reviews on your website, what do you think will happen?
They’re going to go buy something from the guy that does have reviews.
So showing social proof in the form of testimonials, videos, or reviews, will help you a lot in establishing authority with your prospects.
#6 Way to Establish Authority With Prospects: Share Case Studies of Former Customers or Clients & If You Don’t Have Any, Here’s What to Do…
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again.
A good case study shows your prospects how you’ve helped other clients and/or customers solve an issue like the one your prospect is currently having.
It shows them that your product or service is useful and actually works.
But don’t worry!
If you’re a startup or agency looking to scale and you don’t have your own case studies yet, it’s ok to share someone else’s.
But the key is to show your prospects how your products or service have worked for someone else and how you can replicate that success too.
#7 Way to Establish Authority With Prospects: Add Urgency to Make Them Decide Fast
If you really want to get prospective customers or clients off the fence, make them feel like they’re running out of time.
Because, as one of the Laws of Sales Funnel Physics—the Law of Loss says—people are loss-averse and will do everything they can to avoid missing out on value or a deal.
Because people hate to feel like they’re missing out on a deal, or like someone else is going to get something that they don’t have.
It’s exactly why someone might be willing to spend $150 on a used Nintendo Switch on Ebay.
“Oh my God! Time is running out! What if I never see this deal again?”
You can introduce that same sense of urgency into your sales process through the use of financial incentives or limited-time offers.
Some ways to adding urgency in your calls with prospects are:
- Free shipping or a special discount if you purchase within X amount of time.
- An add-on or limited-edition giveaway only available to the first X number of buyers.
- Sell only a limited amount of your product, or offer your services to only a limited number of people before cutting off sales.
- Offer your product on a rolling basis.
As an example, we offer an exclusive bonus only for prospects who get on a call with our strategist and decide to sign up for our service during the sales call.
And we do the same for people who watch our demo video.
So if they don’t act fast, then the special deal is gone forever.
#8 Way to Establish Authority With Prospects: Put Cold Leads on the Back Burner
Your goal is to convert cold leads into steamy buyers.
But what happens when you have both cold and hot leads in your pipeline?
You gotta focus on the ones that are more likely to buy.
Because the leads that stop responding will end up clogging up your funnel.
So in order to prevent that from happening, don’t waste time and energy trying to nurture an obviously cold lead who takes time away from other prospects who may be interested in buying.
That being said, stop contacting prospects if:
- You’ve reached out 5 times or more with no response
- They haven’t opened your emails in over 30 days
- They repeatedly try to haggle on price
- They downloaded all of your freebies, but never actually purchased anything
- They’ve actually told you they’re not interested
#9 Way to Establish Authority With Prospects: Build Loyalty & Maximize Lifetime Value
Once you “unclog” your sales funnel and convert or remove the cold leads who didn’t show any further interest, build loyalty with the ones who DID stick around to keep them buying.
But why is it important to build loyalty anyway?
Because loyal customers spread the word about your business. They stick with your service for months and they come back to purchase more of your products.
Best of all, there are a few things you can do to establish authority while encouraging loyalty at the exact same time.
More on that in the next tactic.
#10 Way to Establish Authority With Prospects: Offer Exclusive Deals
You can create an even stronger bond with your prospects and position yourself as an authority if you reward them somehow for being loyal to your business.
You see, we all want to feel appreciated and valued.
We want to spend money on products or services that will make our lives easier. But we also want to save money.
For this, there’s no better way than leveraging the idea in your prospects of “you earn money by actually spending money.”
It’s what big-name companies do and what keeps their customers and clients coming back for more.
So allow your customers to earn discounts, or offer them exclusive products.
Trust me, they’ll see you as an authority figure if you do so.
#11 Way to Establish Authority With Prospects: Provide Exceptional Customer Service
As a salesperson or business owner, you’re selling (duh) your products or service.
But where most salespeople fail is in the customer service part.
They tend to think “I’m a salesperson, not customer support.”
But what’s wrong with that mindset is the fact that salespeople should still provide customer support for prospects.
I mean, a customer might decide to buy from you or not because of your customer service. Not just because of your selling skills.
That being said, prospects remember who treats them nice and who don’t.
So they’ll be more likely to buy from you, forget your errors, and (most importantly) they’ll tell their friends and family about you as long as you provide a 5-star customer service support…
BONUS #12 Way to Establish Authority With Prospects: Boost Your Self-image & Confidence With Weight-lifting
Yes, this is one overlooked way to establish authority in front of your prospects.
As part of your exercising or workout, consider doing some weight-lifting.
Yeah, I know, you’re probably wondering, “Why the heck should I lift some heavy weights to crush some sales?”
And the truth is, you don’t have to.
However, lifting weights leads you to having a better self-image.
And having a better self-image gives you confidence.
I’m pretty sure you know where I’m going, don’t you?
The bottom line is, boosting your self-image gives you confidence.
It makes you feel good about yourself. It makes you feel good about getting on the call with a potential buyer. And it makes you feel good about asking for the sale.
Sure, there are plenty of sales strategies to close 481%+ more high-ticket sales.
But lifting weights and enhancing your self image is one mind-hack to boost your focus and help you close more sales.
In fact, one determinant of sales success in any field with any product or service, is actually self-confidence according to American Management Association.
Lifting weights has helped me close sales at AutoGrow for years.
There’s even a Ted Talk about how sitting straight for 2 minutes will help increase your testosterone and your confidence.
And testosterones give you that one little push you need to position yourself as an authority.
There you go.
Establishing authority in front of your prospects isn’t that hard. Isn’t it?
It just requires the 11 tactics outlined in this article.
And once you follow them, you’ll start feeling more confident in your sales call and get ready to ask for the much awaited sale.
Here some ways to establish authority in sales for your review:
- Focus on your hot leads and not so much on the cold ones.
- Boost your self-image and confidence with weight-lifting.
- Build loyalty and maximize lifetime value.
- Provide excellent customer service support during your sales calls.
- Build rapport and nurture the relationship.
- Leverage online reviews.
- Know all the answers from your FAQ section on your website.
Using the tips I’ve provided, you should be able to convert those leads into buyers.
Now tell me something, how do you normally establish authority in your sales calls?
Let me know in the comments below.
Keep AutoGrowin’, stay focused.