Of all the key elements of business, number one is SALES. With sales, your company will not exist! We have been selling ever since man was created, when Eve sold Adam on the forbidden fruit. But has the art of the deal ever changed? Is selling the same as it was then? In many ways, yes; but not in all ways. Selling is much more complex than ever before.
For starters, people are much savvier to sales methods. Most techniques are falling on ears that pick up on them and get turned off quickly. Using any techniques that come across as hard sell gives the client a bad taste in their mouth and your company’s name will probably be damaged; not to mention that it also makes you seem desperate. Hype is now wasted on the prospective client, they want truth, honesty and fact. Finally, there is much more competition and selection, due to the global economy.
Competition can be found in every aspect of life. Top athletes from all over the world all want to play in the best professional league of their sport. The top actors from all over the world want to be in movies produced in America. You can’t get away from competition. If you are going to compete you might as be the best that you can be
What is step one?
As simple as it may seem, be the expert in your field, know your product inside and out. Know what it can do and what it can’t. By being the expert on your product, service, or idea you are now elevating yourself above being a salesperson to being a consultant. By using a consultative approach to your selling, you will set yourself far apart from the pack.
Here are the basics you need to know:
What will your product do for your client?
Know your product inside and out; size, shape, colour, function, benefits.
How can the customer buy it, get access to it, and receive it.
What is the price?
How long will it last?
History of the product?
How to use the product?
This will set you apart:
Are there any special manufacturing processes?
Why should the client buy from you?
Is it a good investment?
Is it safe?
Is it environmentally responsible or socially acceptable?
Servicing, warranty and repair information.
Would you buy it?
What does your competition offer?
You must be the totally invested in your product and its number one champion.
Why are these items so important?
How can you be enthusiastic and believable if you don’t believe in your own product?
Having all this knowledge at your fingertips allows you to talk freely and confidently.
Your customer wants answers and wants them now, they will have much more confidence in you if you can answer them immediately. If they do stump you, they will trust you even more when you tell them you will get them the answer quickly.
You build trust faster.
How do you get this product knowledge?
Besides reading the literature the company produces, you can talk to the manufactures, designers, repair personnel, and field people. Try out the product or service yourself. If you can’t try it out, go talk to people who used your product or service. Finally, if there are more salespeople in your company, ask them to describe the value your products and services deliver.
Product knowledge is an essential sales skill. Understanding your products' features allows you to present their benefits accurately and persuasively. Customers respond to enthusiastic sales staff who are passionate about their products and eager to share the benefits with them.
To sum up, by being the expert you can not only truly serve your client extraordinarily, you can also write articles for newspapers, magazines, trade journals and websites, or be an expert on the radio or television, bringing clients you for what you know not trying to impress them. By being an expert you truly separate yourself from the pack.