Friday, February 6, 2009

Be who you are and be that well

Saint Francis de Sales

How to be an Expert

An investor called his financial advisor to get an update on a specific investment. Instead, he got 20 minutes on what was happening in the market, including lots of details about every type of investment.

When the investor couldn't get a word in edgewise, he tuned out until the deluge of information came to an end and then closed off the call. The next day, the financial advisor got an e-mail from the investor with directions to transfer all his assets to another firm.

Don't put your customers in this position. Just because they ask a question doesn't mean they want you to dazzle them with everything you know about your business.

To truly be seen as an expert by your customers, answer their questions by focusing only on what they've asked, and, therefore, what's most important to them. Let the customer expand the subject if they want. They'll appreciate your expertise and trust you even more as a resource.

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You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.

Harlan Ellison