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Becoming the Expert! Self-Proclaimed Professional or Hack?

Engaging a real expert allows you to quantifiably accelerate your rate of failure and your rate of success. As a selling professional, you must position yourself as a real expert serves as a force multiplier to you!

In today’s robust internet world, traditional B2B, B2C, C2C commerce and need for immediate consumption, the depth of the marketplace subject matter experts and apparent influencers are astonishing. It is like a “kiddie pool of true intellect, understanding, experience and credibility.” Yet most people seem to either be oblivious or are so complacent that they have no sense of care.

Today, what passes for an expert or person of legitimate credentials, would have ten years ago been called a “new hire, a beginner or a neophyte” … With the aging Baby-Boomer population and entrance of the Millennials and Generation-Z rapidly overtaking the majority of the workforce over the next five years, it is estimated that nearly sixty-percent of those in managerial-leadership and “boss” positions in 2001 will be retired and gone by 2020!

Generations of American’s were reared with cultural mantra’s such as work hard, apply yourself, always learn, have self-respect, achieve, help others, operate from etiquette, and you will be rewarded as this created a DNA of what being an AmeriCAN was all about. Today, we have a generational and cultural mindset of “reward me first and maybe I’ll work hard later.”

As you would expect as a consumer when seeking interactions with a doctor, nurse, medical professional, attorney, engineer, relator, pilot, accountant, consultant, etc., that the individual in that profession have advanced formal educational degrees in their practice area and on-going professional development endeavors to have current and advanced certifications. This too should be the mindset and approach for selling professionals.

In an ever exploding, rhetoric infused world, diminishing legitimately Integris people, and with this magnitude of loss in experience, intellectual capacity and wisdom, you need to be on your attention to not be a pawn in someone else’s game. The wave of current and impending self-proclaimed experts to emerge and attempt to influence the trajectory direction of the future on the world market place and in your front yard is here!

With the rise of self-proclaimed experts and wannabes, make sure you cover your actions and are a good steward of others. Consider the company you keep and the company you access. Therefore, consider these simple vetting observations and questions to unearth the real expert from the self-proclaimed and ask yourself where you fall as a selling professional if someone used this as a vetting list on you:

  • Have you ever done or consumed what you are selling as an apprentice or beginner? Can you prove it?
  • Have you ever done it as a journeyman or employee/member?
  • Have you ever done it as a master or leader?
  • Can you prove anything based upon fact, data and logic versus emotion, rhetoric and assertions?
  • What would ten of your reputable clients/benefactors say about your deliverables?
  • Is there a degree in their area of specialty, and do you, have it?
  • Is there a trade association certification in their area of specialty, and do you, have it?
  • Have they ever been featured in a credible third-party publication or newswire about your specialty?
  • Have you ever penned a White Paper on their specialty?
  • If appropriate, have you ever authored a book which was published by a credible and reputable publisher?
  • Have you ever designed, written, implemented and taught an instruction course in which they are a self-proclaimed expert?
  • Do you hold a patent, trademark or a copyright certificate on their body-of-work, expertise or deliverable?
  • Are you the innovator of anything in their subject matter, or are they an imitator of others work?
  • Have you ever spoken before a body of peer experts in their space?
  • If I go to your website, will it prove you are professional?
  • And above all, Can YOU Prove It?

And here is where you really accelerate catching a self-proclaimed expert wannabe in the act of embellishment or straight-out B.S., which will influence your trajectory towards failure and ultimate derailment:

You never get a second chance to make a first impression!

  • What would someone learn if they fact check your resume or LinkedIn Profile. If you do not have one, that may be a major clue.
  • If you have harvested others’ credentials and body-of-work as your own. A major clue is yelling at you - fraud.
  • Check the social media world for profiles and begin the process of reverse reading. You can add more content to the social media world to bury past trails, but it is very difficult to make data disappear. If Your employment changes with the seasons, you need evidence for why you are not a charlatan.
  • Check the credentials, pedigree, experiences cited and make sure the math adds up.
  • If someone were to ask for several references. If you hesitate or can’t provide plural references which you are servicing both at the present time and past, this is a major red flag – others should run from you!
  • A major clue you are a self-proclaimed expert that can’t sustain an ROI will be your resistance, persistent deflection to other topics and degrading of others to avoid accountability.
  • What if you are in an interviewing process situation and are asked for copies of the past employer-employee performance reviews for discussion or a copy of your most recent tax statement – these are major reality checks.

Accountability matters, and how you create or abdicate accountability is critical. Hold on for the pushback when you are believed by others as the self-proclaimed expert, notice if your history is as you will see a life cycle of the following, if so these are red-flags that you are being disingenuous:

  • Culture (generational, ethnicity, regional, diversity, etc.) will be re-written to justify your outcome with no sense of personal ownership and personal responsibility.
  • Values will be abdicated.
  • Deflection (deflect responsibility and blame someone else) away from them self and the core matter by playing the blame game to make someone else the problem and positioning them self as the victim.

Performance success creates clear mandates and dictates. The ramifications of actions, accountability or lack of accountability on you and others now and later when influenced by a self-proclaimed expert is devastating. Success achievers will not stay within an organization that maintains and sustains this environment of people. So, if you are that self-proclaimed expert, you may want to really do something meaningful, contribute something meaningful, and get a job. If you have never done anything, don’t proclaim to have done so – step aside and let the real innovators/adults lead the way!

Engaging a real expert allows you to quantifiably accelerate your rate of success. A real expert serves as a force multiplier to you. Engage a sage as coaches for daily or weekly check-ins and accountability growth opportunities. Identify mentors to develop and guide your growth. Create peer groups that are comprised of people with greater credentials than you to serve as a 360° benchmark for excellence in all that you do. Develop a balanced IQ and EQ with substantial readings and continuous mental DNA enrichments on a regular basis. And, explore all opportunities to mentally tithe to others – but only those that will appreciate you and play-it-forward.

Just as complacency and mediocrity grows contempt, so too can success beget success!

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