Many products today come with a “Try it before you buy it” clause. That is, you can try the item (typically software) for a period of time without paying before you decide if it offers enough value to for you to make a purchase. It’s a great way to assure customers that their money won’t be wasted – that their faith in the company is not taken for granted.
But in most cases, testing the product out before taking the plunge isn’t an option. Prospective buyers have to rely on advertising material, product reviews, and the opinions of past customers. Even then, making a purchase untested can be a scary proposition.
What customers really need is an advocate; someone on the inside whose job is to look out for their best interest. And that’s where you come in. As a representative of your organization, you are in the perfect position to match the needs of your customer with the features and benefits provided by your products. You just have to embrace the role.
Successful salespeople possess superior product knowledge and understand that fulfilling customer needs leads to success. When you can draw upon your knowledge and experience with your company’s products to make a customer’s life better, everyone wins – the customer, the company, and you.
Sadly though, too many salespeople possess less-than-optimum product knowledge. You don’t have to look very far to find restaurant servers who have never tasted the food on their own menu, car dealers who can’t explain the features of the model in question, and bankers who don’t understand how their institution’s internet banking service works.
There’s simply no excuse for not knowing at least fundamental information about each of your organization’s products. Even if your primary job duties don’t involve selling, you need to be prepared for the eventual questions. Every employee should be ready, willing, and able to represent the organization when the opportunity presents itself.
While there are numerous ways to learn about your products, nothing compares to hands-on experience. Only by tasting the food, driving the car, or navigating the website can you speak confidently about the features and benefits of the product. Customers trust an expert’s opinion. And they can see right through someone who’s faking it.
So if you’re ready to up your game, take the plunge. Spend some one-on-one time with the products on your menu. Your customers will thank you for it.