Are you the type of person who goes to see a movie without looking at a synopsis, or any reviews, trailers, opinions, ratings or genre? Do you go out and read the first book on the shelf at the library in the new release section, or do you look at the dust jacket to see what the book is about and check if you know the author? Would you recommend a movie or a book you don’t know about to a friend?
People like to research things before involving themselves in something. If you haven’t, than you truly do not know what you are missing. And so it goes with product knowledge. Scores of unenlightened salespeople have never truly experienced the confidence that accompanies those who have a superior knowledge of their product.
Great product knowledge means confidence. You know what your product does and you know what it doesn’t do. And that’s what a real buyer wants to know-is this product going to work for me?
Product knowledge, used wisely, is a finely tuned sales weapon. Read how to properly wield that weapon:
Product Knowledge Strengthens Communication Skills And Makes You Versatile
Having a thorough understanding of a product allows a salesperson to use different techniques and methods of presenting a product to a customer.
Stronger communication skills will allow a salesperson to recognize and adapt a sales presentation to various types of customers. You basically have more options.
- For Example: You’re selling a vehicle. You have superior product knowledge. How? You have not only read the reviews and specifications about the car you are selling, you have experienced the car. You drove it on your own for a few months, took it out into the countryside and scooted around the back roads. You drove it through a creek and up the side of a mountain. You drove it in the city and on the highway.
- So now it comes to the sale. The sale for you is personal; you aren’t regurgitating a review you read, or boasting about a feature where you have not yet found the benefit. You’re sharing an experience.
- You can communicate the vehicle’s smooth ride, comfort and it’s spacious interior to the young family who needs to make a long drive every weekend.
- Your experience in the creek and up the mountainside will be handy when the young couple that camps every weekend comes in to buy.
- And because you drove the vehicle around town for a few months you can share about the vehicle’s dependability within the city.
Remember: Experience the product you are selling. It will bring the true believer out of you. If you sell software, use the software. If you sell skincare products, use the products. If you sell cars, drive them. Product experience increases product knowledge.
Product Knowledge Boosts Enthusiasm
‘Enthusiasm’ is intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval.
Enthusiasm about a product is one of the best selling tools. As you generate excitement about the product, you will generate excitement in your customer. Not only that, enthusiasm builds trust in customers because product interest or approval is a sure sign of one who believes in their product.
- For Example: A customer arrives at your shop to buy a snowboard. He has heard mixed reviews about how to buy a snowboard and where to buy a snowboard. And then he meets you. You sell snowboards that is, when you are not riding them down the mountain. You just got off the hill earlier in the day and you are in the shop working the evening shift.
- As the customer talks with you, your enthusiasm is contagious. You speak about the product with both experience and expertise. Not only will this cause the customer to want to do business with you, but also they will likely deem you capable of answering their many questions.
Remember: Enthusiasm is a sign of a believer. If you really believe in your product, enthusiasm will follow. Enthusiasm is contagious and it will grub off on your customers and encourage them to trust you. Experience your product so that your enthusiasm will grow.
Product Knowledge Assists in Overcoming Objections
Objections made by customers may be defeated with factual information regarding the product. Being well versed in your products allows you to easily counter objections.
For Example: A customer phones you to subscribe to the newspaper you are selling. They have heard both good things and bad things about the paper. So they begin by reciting what they have heard.
Customer: “I heard your newspaper is good but I heard the articles are written for a grade six reading level. I think I am interested in something more intelligent.”
Now an uninformed salesperson could lose the sale here. Perhaps the salesperson is unsure and they are forced to say they do not know. However, superior product knowledge would earn the sale.
Salesperson: “Oh, please allow me clarify. At the front of our newspaper we include a synopsis of all the day’s most important stories. They are brief summaries, and re-written for a grade six reading level. Our newspaper surveyed that the majority of our city’s readers find a brief summary more enjoyable to read and find a grade six reading level most comprehensible. However, you will find the original articles are still in the newspaper and they are written for the more astute readers; more intelligent if you like. In the long run I believe you might find our newspaper a versatile choice for you.”
In this case the objection became an opportunity to sell one of the newspaper’s greatest strengths. The newspaper was writing for its people. How personable and pleasant.
Without solid product knowledge, you will lack selling power. Making a habit of honing your product knowledge will release your sales confidence, enthusiasm and versatility. Now you are well on your way to enjoying profitable and enjoyable sales experiences!