It’s typical for people to turn to specific individuals, institutions or organizations when they are facing a unique issue or need a particular solution. For instance, you may hear people say “Call Orkin (a very well know American pest removal company) to deal with your pest infestation!” or “Phone Mr. Drains to get your toilet drain unclogged!”
What makes this phenomenon even more peculiar is the fact that even though someone may never have dealt with a particular person or company before, it is exactly those individuals or companies that get the first call.
So why does that happen?
We can attribute it to something we like to call ‘the power of authority in business’. Let’s take a closer look at how being seen as an authority in your niche can send you clients on autopilot using the pest removal industry as an example.
What’s going on in the consumer’s mind?
What is it that makes residential and commercial clients turn to specific solution providers first, instead of seeking generic relief to their issues? For instance, why do prospective clients mostly turn to a specific pest removal company, such as Orkin, and not just any local pest removal company?
The answer is marketing and branding, which ultimately translates to Authority!
When you establish yourself as an authority in your market, clients and prospective customers will always have your name on speed dial. The result:
- While other businesses struggle to get clients, your business will continue to thrive
- While a particular competitor may charge rock-bottom prices for their services, you will be able to charge premium rates for what you do
- While your lesser known peers will go to great lengths to accept any type of client, you can choose which clients you want to work with, and which ones you will give a pass
Since you have a proven track record of quickly addressing a “pain point” in your niche, you become a Subject Matter Expert (S.M.E) in their eyes. And that’s the power that becoming an authority gives you!
Getting the power
So can one really become an authority in a particular market? The answer is a resounding “Definitely!”.
Here are a few things that you can do to establish yourself as an authority in your market:
1. Knowledge and expertise in a narrow field
The best way to establish yourself as an industry expert is to have solid knowledge about a very niche field. Just remember that although being a topic expert will help – static knowledge will not make you an S.M.E – it has to be continuously upgraded and enhanced.
The Attic Pest Authority, an online pest removal resource offering advice and services to client’s nation wide, has narrowed down its services to deal only with pest situations that arise in attic spaces, rather than tackle the pest removal market as a whole. For this reason, they are seen as the ‘go-to’ authority when it comes to problems such as how to get rid of bats from attic spaces (something that is surprisingly more common that you may think)
2. Care for your client’s feelings
When it comes to showing that you really know all there is about the business, don’t forget to show that you also know all there is about doing business! A true authority figure will also care about the community and individual clients they serve.
No one wants the whole world to know that they have called in a pest removal company to deal with an infestation in their homes. That’s why Ace Pest Control, a New York-based pest control and removal specialist, uses unmarked vans when servicing clients. This simple gesture shows clients that the professionals servicing them truly care about their feelings as well!
3. Offer broad-based services
While some businesses believe in specializing in a very narrow field of expertise (as we covered above), other authority figures have broad-based domain expertise. Because they have such vast knowledge and experience in their fields, they become the natural “go to” company/individuals in their market.
Orkin pest removal, operating in nation wide, uses its broad-based domain expertise to appeal to a wide range of clients. They have built domain expertise in the trapping and removal of a vast list of critters, including Raccoon’s, Bats, Snakes, Rats and Mice, Birds, Dead Animals, and much more.
As a prospective client that needs broad-based pest removal assistance, someone like Orkin is considered a true authority in their market!
4. Offer solutions, not services.
Perhaps the most common trait of successful authority businesses is their focus on providing solutions, not services, to their clients. A successful business is built on the premise of solving problems (NOT making money) and this attitude is what allows the cream to rise to the top in all industries with any form of longevity.
Any business in the pest removal industry that goes the extra mile in educating and preventing further pest infestations (once initial the problem has been solved) is building their authority by offering real solutions to real problems faced by customers.
5. Seek peer recognition
Just because you strongly believe that you have all it takes to make you an authority in your market doesn’t always make it so! To be respected as a S.M.E in your particular industry, you need to have an endorsement of your abilities from peers in your industry.
Peer recognition primarily comes from being a member of reputable industry associations and professional groups. Melbourne-based Amalgamated Pest Control for instance is proud to admit that it is an “…active members of the only recognized pest control association the Australian Pest Managers Association (AEPMA)”.
The company also tells its clients upfront that all of its branches are Pest Cert Accredited businesses, which adds another layer of peer group recognition of its skills and expertise.
Building authority that lasts
Becoming an authority in one’s market place isn’t just about getting to the top of your field. True authority is about then staying at the top of the pinnacle for a long time. To do that requires continuous innovation and reinvention.
Becoming an authority is not an easy task by any means but by using the above tips and thinking a little creatively you’ll solidify your position in the market and build a valuable asset in that will solve real problems and keep the business going for years to come.