Breakthrough selling is often achieved on the back of thought leadership. In increasingly competitive environments the winners are those that drive the market and make their views, opinions and ideas known to key decision makers and influencers. Those that don’t fall by the way side and become part of a “me too” bunch of suppliers. Microsoft are a great example of thought leadership in action.
Thought leadership often involves individuals and organisations producing white papers and reports on observations, trends and developments within their respective markets, sectors and industries. Some individuals have proactively marketed themselves as “futureologists” for their industry. This often puts them in the limelight and makes them regular contributors to industry journals with public speaking at conferences and industry network events.
In knowledge based industries and professional services this method of business development has become increasingly popular. Customers have become tired of the barrage of marketing literature telling them how good their suppliers are - what they want is value and ideas that will help them and their business to improve. Any forward thinking entrepreneur or sales professional should consider how they enhance their personal brand by becoming recognised experts in what they do - masters of their trade. When you or your business gets recognised as an expert it provides that point of differentiation that is so often needed in jam packed markets.