Picture this: You go to a high-end car dealership to buy yourself a new, fancy car. When you get there, a nice salesman comes to greet you and offers to help you look around and find what you're looking for. You test drive a couple of cars and have some questions about price, technology, and safety ratings. Assuming the nice and presentable-looking salesman knows everything about these cars (as it is his job, of course), you ask some not-too-difficult questions.
Quickly, you come to find this salesman has no clue what he's talking about, not a subject matter expert, and rather just wants you to make an impulse decision and buy the fancy, expensive vehicle. Obviously, this is not someone you would feel comfortable buying a car from, as he knows next-to-nothing about his subject.
What is a Subject Matter Expert?
As a business owner or even an employee, the last thing you want is for your customers to doubt your intelligence or expertise when it comes to your subject matter. The example used above lays out the simple idea of what a subject matter expert is, as it's basically just as it sounds. A subject matter expert is generally in charge of defining the business processes, the business policies and the application requirements. In its simplest of terms, a subject matter expert needs to know everything about their company, including history, mission statements, and every step of the business process.
Who Should Be a Subject Matter Expert?
While the owner and operator of a business should be a subject matter expert, owners should not be the only subject matter experts in an organization. Managers and higher-up employees should be subject matter experts regardless, as they should be some of the most knowledgeable individuals in a company. Of course, the more employees that are subject matter experts, the better.
Why Should I Be a Subject Matter Expert?
Honestly, the answer to this question is pretty simple. If you want people to trust you, you have to give them a reason! Going back to the car dealership example, you would want to buy a car from someone who is knowledgeable in their field and can answer just about every question you ask, as intricate as they may be, rather than someone who just knows the basics. Once you establish to your customers that you are in fact a subject matter expert, they will be more likely to do business with you, as well as endorse your business and share your information with their friends.
Subject Matter Experts = Trust
The whole point of a subject matter expert, on top of for your own benefit, is to get your customers to trust you. The more trust you have, the more clients you will receive, strictly through word of mouth! No one wants to work with someone they don't trust, so the quicker you can prove your worth and trustworthiness, the more successful you will be.