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What makes you an expert?

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This question is troubling me at the moment ever since shopping last week for cat food.  I came across a new brand which seemed cheaper than our current one but it was not the price that caught my eye more the large message on the side stating the product had been tested by experts!

So who are these experts?

Are they cats?  If so how did they get to be elevated to experts?  Was there some sort of job application process?   Maybe a beauty parade or were only the fattest or hungriest cats chosen for this accolade.  Someone told me they thought the cat food testing experts were in fact humans but again if that is true how does one become an expert on food for cats?
So I started to wonder then about all this expert stuff and more importantly how do we decide who is an expert and who isn’t.  I, certainly, like most people receive lots of emails purporting to be from experts in social media, email marketing and website development.  How can we sort our experts from those we believe in to those who just tell us they are experts.   Kim Davis of Sarsaparilla Marketing says she started her marketing business with tag line ‘protecting companies from the three Fs Flash, Fluff and Fakers’ because too many people are around offering help and advice with little more than a day more than you in knowledge.   I was delighted to have the chance to meet and talk to Kim and her experience, personality and style convinced me she was an expert and that without yet testing her out.

So do you trust experts? 

Do you have a favourite expert you are working with right now?  How did you choose them and how did you know they were right for you.
I don’t want to disappoint you but my cats were not impressed with the new brand despite my explaining to them the experts test.  We have returned to our former and more expensive brand and peace reigns again in our household.

Charlotte Mannion is the founder and a director of Quick Learn Limited a small communications consultancy based in Wiltshire.  She is the author of a number of Useful Guides covering Report Writing, Public Speaking, and Mentoring as well as How to Give the Perfect Wedding Speech
 

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