Demonstrating expertise

If you want to come across as an expert, make sure you ask the right questions

Dave, I keep hearing you say that you need to be known as an expert in order to “sell” the right way. You are also constantly talking about doing business based upon referrals. I do much of my business based upon referral, yet sometimes I have to speak to prospects who don’t know who I am. How do I come across as an expert?

–Chip from Alabama


Chip, great question. After all, what good is becoming an expert if the people you speak to don’t know that you are an expert? I can go in several directions at this juncture – from learning how to say the right things as an expert when we are speaking with prospects to presenting your prospects with expert information in writing so you can prove your expertise.

To establish yourself as an expert, you have to obtain the knowledge you would need. This will enable you to start giving advice to help a person make the best life-changing decisions. You put yourself in a position to do that by asking relevant questions such as:

  • Are you getting advice as to how to integrate your home into your long-term financial plan?
  • Have you considered a 20-year mortgage, which will give you two-thirds of the benefits of a 15-year loan, but contains only 50% of the additional cost?
  • Do you know what the effective cost of the monthly payment is after the tax deduction and principal reduction?
  • Is it more important for you to conserve capital or achieve the lowest month payment?

When someone is shopping rates, they are not used to getting these types of questions. These are questions not of a salesperson, but of an expert advisor. Of course, you need to know how to answer each of these questions as well. Next week we will talk about other ways of demonstrating your expertise.

–Dave Hershman 


Dave Hershman has been the leading author and a top speaker for the industry for decades with six books authored and hundreds of articles published. His website is If you have a reaction to this commentary or another question you would like answered in this column? Email Dave directly at [email protected].