Integrators, Are You Recognized As An Expert?

There was a very interesting discussion from today's sales course on 'Selling to the Informed Customer' that brought up a critical distinction about being an expert versus being recognized as one.

The underlying premise is that as integrators today it is hard to win leading with 'your' manufacturer, because it is so easy for end users to get information on products and alternate sources for them. Many end users then see integrators as commodities to install the 'stuff' at the lowest cost.

Being a (recognized) expert can help overcome this.

Ideally you want both - be a real expert and be recognized as one. However, just being a real expert is not enough because if prospects do not know you are an expert, then they will treat you as just another commodity camera mounter.

So, integrators, do you think you are recognized as an expert in your local market by end users who do not currently buy from you?

Bonus: 2/3rds of the sales attendees do not send any email newsletter, which is clearly a big miss opportunity to keep yourself front of mind and positioning yourself as an expert.


How about a blog, like MxInstaller? Now that I think of it, did IPVM start as a blog?

One other thing to consider: can public exposure (newsletter, blog) increase patent troll risk?

Blog is fine but blog with newsletter is critical because you cannot expect people to go to your site regularly if you only publish infrequently.

MxInstaller is sponsored / paid for by Mobotix so it's a good example of manufacturer marketing but not in making an integrator recognized as an expert.

As for us, IPVM started with the spider as it was a programming experiment for me. I then added posts and it organically expanded over time. However, IPVM was never part of an integrator or manufacturer.

However, IPVM was never part of an integrator or manufacturer.

It could be argued that IPVM is executing the strategy in reverse.

Become a recognized subject matter expert; then create cutting-edge subscription based software products, (calculator, finder, etc), which benefit from the official endorsement and implicit goodwill of the site as a whole.

Design and fabricate branded devices, e.g. lanyards, and create frenzied demand thru artificial scarcity. ;)

"It could be argued that IPVM is executing the strategy in reverse."

Wait, are you making me an integrator? :)

We have some level of branding / recognition and certainly a lot of that has to do with the newsletter and reaching out to industry people with news / information / etc. That does help because a lot of people (probably most) sign up without ever interacting with any of us in any way.

As an end user I would be remiss if I did not throw my two cents in here. Integrators, just because you think you are an expert and present yourself as such, does not make you an expert. Over the years I have sat down with many a purported “expert” that were far from it. Not that I am an expert by any stretch, I know just enough to be dangerous! All I am saying is if you do not know your stuff be careful.

Also, the newsletter is a great idea whether you are an expert or not. I get numerous newsletters and sometimes there is nothing of interest in them, but at least it gets the company name in front of my face. I may have forgotten all about you, or the sales guy from your company I talked to a month ago so whenever the newsletter comes in it is a reminder you are still out there.

Also, the newsletter is a great idea whether you are an expert or not.

Though it can backfire when non-experts seek to enlighten. ;)

I figured I didn't need to specify that your newsletter (video in this case) not suck. ;-)

That is a perfect example of the type of “expert” I was referring to too. Good grab!

"Integrators, just because you think you are an expert and present yourself as such, does not make you an expert."

Agreed.

There are two risks:

The person who purports to be an expert, is well known, but is not: the charlatan.

The person who is an expert but not no one knows it: sad / common. The later is who we are trying to help here.