Survival has always been associated with following an authoritative leader. If someone is an expert at one thing we are much more likely to follow their advice elsewhere, even if they have vested interests in how we behave. When we believe someone is an expert, we are more likely to do what they want us to do.
For example, when a home rental receptionist put callers through saying “Mary, who has 15 years’ experience letting properties in the area,” rather than “I’ll just put you through to one of our sales team” appointments rose 20% and contracts by 15%.
Making it live
A prestigious automotive client wanted their retailers to sell in a more consumer-friendly fashion, turning customers into fans and advocates. Recognising that dealers would be influenced more by relevant and recognisable expertise, we persuaded our client to replace the usual senior management who would normally present at the sales conference, with role models of excellence from within the network- fellow dealers who were ‘doing it, and doing it well’. Advice and encouragement, stories and real world examples from an expert peer proved far more effective than previous years’ events.