How Product Knowledge Can Increase Sales
Knowledge is power and for retailers, product knowledge can mean more sales. It is difficult to effectively sell to a customer if we cannot show how a particular product will address his or her needs. Read on to learn some of the benefits of knowing the products you sell.
Strengthens Communication Skills
Having a thorough understanding of the products on the shelves can allow a retailer to use different techniques and methods of presenting the product to customers. Stronger communication skills will allow a salesperson to recognize and adapt a sales presentation for the various types of customers. One of the questions you should always be asking yourself is "are my employees talking or communicating?" Too many times, they are just talking. Train your employees to sell the benefit and not the features. More importantly, to see what the customer needs, not what he (salesperson) likes.
Seeing someone completely enthusiastic about a product is one of the best selling tools. As you generate excitement for the product, you remove any uncertainty the product may not be the best solution for that customer. The easiest way to become enthusiastic is to truly believe in the product. Remember, the first sale you make is yourself; the second sale is the product. If they believe in you, they will believe in the product you are selling.
If a customer isn't fully committed to completing a sale, the difference may simply be the presence (or lack) of confidence a salesperson has towards the product or towards his or her knowledge of the product. Becoming educated in the product and its uses will help cement that confidence.
Assists in Answering Objections
Objections made by customers are really nothing more than questions. If they object to a product, it is likely either you chose the wrong product or the customer needs more of your product knowledge to know why it is the best solution for them. That information usually comes in the form of product knowledge. Being well versed in not only your products but similar products sold by competitors, allows you to easily counter objections.
How to Gain Product Knowledge
- Marketing Literature
- Sales Reps
- Training Sessions
- Role Playing (the best system)
- Practical Use
It is important to understand how the product is made, the value of the product, how the product should and can be used, and what products work well together.
What to Know About Your Products
- Pricing structure
- Styles, colors or models available
- History of the product
- Any special manufacturing process
- How to use the product
- Product distribution and delivery
- Servicing, warranty, and repair information.
- And most importantly - how to show what the customer is interested in
It may take a while to easily articulate your product knowledge, especially with new products, but over time you'll become comfortable and confident in providing the correct information to shoppers. That confidence will pay off in improved sales results.
The most important element of product knowledge is to sell the benefit and not the feature. Too often as salespeople, we get all excited about features and overwhelm the customer. A customer wants to know WHY that feature is important to them. Never make the mistake of talking about more benefits than you need too. In other words, six benefits do not make the product seem twice as good as three. Only relate benefits to the customer that you uncovered during your researching phase of the sale. Just because it is a cool feature to you does not mean it will be to the customer. The truth is, a customer will likely only use 20% of the features of the product when they buy it anyway. And the more complicated you make it, the more likely they are to walk.
The bottom line is that customers crave and need product knowledge. It's how they make the buying decision. It's how they know they can trust you as the salesperson But remember, using product knowledge is a skill. Don't throw up your great knowledge every time. Only talk about the features (benefits) the customer is interested in. It may be exciting to you, but may not be to the customer. The customer needs to feel that you have their best interest at heart and not putting on a show of your great intellect.