Customers Don't Care About Your Product's Bells and Whistles. Here's What They Really Want to Hear.

With the emergence of drop shipping, many sellers have stopped accumulating in-depth product knowledge. But knowing your products inside and out is just as important as ever.

Whether you’re selling a service or a physical item, knowing your product is incredibly important for your business’s success.

For example, David Stern, a sales coach, describes shadowing a salesman on a sales call. When the client’s potential buyer asked if he could provide a specific service, the salesperson said no; in fact, the salesperson didn’t even understand what service the potential buyer was asking about. The potential buyer had to explain it to the salesman.

When this conversation was relayed to the salesman’s boss, he was furious. They did offer the service — it was just that the veteran salesman had never looked into it. Not only did he lose thousands of dollars on that sale, but also because he didn’t have the product knowledge, he’d never offered the service to anyone else either. Tons of potential sales could have been made if the salesman had taken the time to know the product.

Why should you know your product?

Stern’s example is an extreme case of ignorance — you might be saying to yourself, “Of course I know what I sell!” But do you know everything about it? Having in-depth product knowledge has many benefits:

Increased confidence. The more you know your product, the more comfortable and confident you’ll feel when pitching it to others.

Strong communication. Since you know all the benefits of your product or service, you’ll have a much easier time communicating with potential buyers. Knowing your product helps you adapt to the various types of people you might encounter and communicate with them, rather than just talking at them.

Successful response to objections. If you know your product, you also understand the possible downsides of it. No product or service is meant for everyone — and what potential buyers really want to know from your sales pitch is if the product is right for them and their needs. If you know your product, you’ll foresee what questions and objections they have and know how to work around them.

Enthusiasm. One of the biggest things that can make someone afraid to sell is a lack of knowledge. When you don’t have all the information, you’re naturally more nervous to talk about something for fear of being asked a question. Remove that fear by gaining product knowledge, and you become much more enthusiastic. Having a full understanding of the benefits and being able to foresee objections makes you much more enthusiastic about the product. This, in turn, makes customers much more interested in hearing from you.

How to promote your product using your product knowledge

1. Hold demos or discovery calls. Showcase your product knowledge during demos for physical products or discovery calls for services. This is your time to shine and answer all the questions your potential customer might have.

2. Sell the benefits. You might have heard of selling benefits, not features. People only really use about 20 percent of a product’s features. So, if you overload them with information about all of your product's bells and whistles, it will go in one ear and out the other. What people really want to know is how the product will make their life better.

For example, if you’re selling a knife, you could tell your potential buyer how sharp the blade is, what it’s made of and how well built the handle is. Or, you can tell them that they can chop vegetables at three times the typical speed because of the well-made blade. You might include that they’ll never have wrist pain again because the handle is ergonomically designed. Which sounds more convincing to you?

3. Lead with objections. Once you’ve covered the benefits, address objections before the customer does. This allows you to voice what they’re likely already thinking — something they might not even ask about before shutting you down. By pointing out objections before the customer can, you position yourself as an expert. Don’t let this get in the way of listening, though. Your customer will want to feel heard, so be sure to ask the customer if he or she has any objections as well.

Product knowledge can make or break a sale. Remember, people are always asking what a product can do for them before they make a purchase, so knowing your product positions you to answer this question.

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