How to sell with authority

How to sell with authority

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Greg Roworth

Today I am going to reveal the single most important secret to my success. It’s what I call my Power Selling System.

The Power Selling System enables you to be seen as an authority and provides you with an effective methodology to change your client’s beliefs from apathy to urgency. It also helps you persuade more people to take the action that is in their best interest.

The system allows you to sell in a way that is authentic, because it is focused more on the customer's needs and interests than your need to sell your product or service.

First, let me describe a situation to which I am sure you can relate.

Imagine that someone goes to a doctor for a routine health check. During the check-up, the doctor becomes concerned and asks for more tests. The tests show a lump that may be cancerous and a biopsy is recommended. Based on the doctor's testing and recommendation, the patient has moved from a state of apathy to urgency.

What has happened here?

Why could the doctor sell the recommended treatment with virtually zero resistance and without even being questioned about the price of the recommendation?

I am sure it is that the doctor has authority and trust, two of the most powerful factors of influence and persuasion.

How much difference would it make if you could sell with authority and trust, like the doctor, compared to selling with the traditional approach?

The Power Selling System for Authority Selling

The system works through these five steps:

  • Position yourself as the authority
  • Own the terms of engagement
  • Win their confidence
  • Educate
  • Recommend

Position yourself as the authority
Positioning yourself as the authority happens before you ever meet with your client. You primarily need a degree of knowledge that enables you to be considered as an expert, or authority. Now, you don’t have to be considered ‘the number one authority’. Just being knowledgeable is enough.

You also need to work to create the perception of authority by using any third-party artefacts that emphasise your expertise. These could be degrees, awards or certificates, or even photos with celebrity customers. You also gain credibility from social proof through client testimonials, or articles or comments from other people. These days Facebook likes or views on YouTube create social proof, too.

When you demonstrate a high level of expertise to solve your clients’ problems you command more respect, so that when you recommend a solution they will frequently accept without checking to see if they can get it cheaper somewhere else.

Own the terms of engagement
Owning the terms of the engagement comes from how well you control the sales conversation.

First impressions are critical. You will undermine your credibility if you act like a typical sales person instead of like a doctor. There are several elements that can help you to own the terms of engagement and to enhance your authority in the process.

  • Confidence in your knowledge and your product or service.
  • Having a process to follow will help you control the meeting and enhance your credibility.
  • Your tone will also affect how your client perceives your authority. It’s important that you use authoritative command tonality when you ask your clients’ questions and not appear uncertain or needy.

Win their confidence
Winning the client’s confidence comes from diagnosing, not selling. When you diagnose, the focus is 100 per cent on your client’s situation. As a result, they gain trust and confidence in you and your expertise. Imagine the doctor’s visit again. When the doctor asks you a question and then, based on your answer, asks you a follow-up question that goes deeper into the problem, it shows they know what they are talking about.

It is great to be able to diagnose a problem, but often the client won’t know if an appropriate solution exists or if you know what they need.

When you educate, you build authority by demonstrating that you not only know the solution, but you are also the authority in providing that solution.

The way you educate has to be interesting and relevant. When you give your knowledge freely, you invoke the influence triggers of reciprocity, commitment and consistency. When you give someone a gift, they feel the need to reciprocate. When people start to act a certain way, they tend to stay consistent with that decision.

While sales people offer a product or service, you will recommend a solution. Take note that in the Power system, every part of the process is focused on your client finding a solution to a problem. There has been no selling. There has only been diagnosing and advising. If you have done your job well, you now have a client who is eagerly wanting to know how you can help them.

By conducting your meeting with authority, you built trust and credibility, and you will have an even greater opportunity to recommend a solution that shows up your competitor’s typical offer as incomplete and ineffective.

As a professional salesperson, without becoming a subject matter expert you will pay the price of being seen as a commodity. Becoming an expert and positioning yourself as an authority makes so much sense when you see how differently you are perceived by your clients.

When you use the Power system of authority selling, you create the greatest opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and give your clients the best chance of seeing how much better off they are by choosing you or your products to help them rather than any alternative. In fact, when you get this right, you become the only option.

Greg Roworth is a business growth specialist and author of Run Your Business on Autopilot – How to Leverage Your Business for Maximum Profit in Minimum Time. He specialises in assisting smart but frustrated business owners to discover their unique market positioning and to quickly leverage their business by attracting more ideal clients and building the systems to run their businesses on autopilot. He currently leads a team of business growth specialists as chief executive of Business Success Systems. To contact Greg please visit or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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