Articles Tagged ‘Prospect knowledge’

Sell Today, Educate Tomorrow

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

For the past 20 years, we have seen a tremendous number of technological advances in our society. Most of these advances have provided a great benefit to consumers all over the world and help make our lives easier, less stressful, more enjoyable, and more accessible. With these advances, what companies can offer has become more complex. These increases in complexity can be a double-edged sword depending on how you “sell” your product. Breaking down your selling process into two phases when communicating with prospects and current clients makes this process simple.

The first phase is determining where your prospect falls on the overall knowledge of your product. Where they fall will change how you communicate with them. Ask yourself, has the prospect purchased your product or a similar product before? Is this the first round of meetings discussing the product or the second or third? Once you determine where they fall, shape your selling process to their knowledge base.

The second phase is communicating with your prospect on their level of knowledge about your product. A common mistake most salespeople make is they overload the prospect with product knowledge, showing off with how much they know about their product. If the buyer’s level of knowledge is low, and you are communicating with them as if it is high, problems can occur. Buyers may become intimidated by your knowledge and be scared away because your product seems overly difficult. Keep the conversation low level; go into detail if they ask and don’t be afraid to ask them where they fall on a scale from 1 to 10 on their understanding of your product.

To help ease the sales anxiety for you or your other sales people keep a few things in mind:

1.Product knowledge used at the wrong time is intimidating—Be careful not to bombard your prospect with jargon or buzzwords. This can be intimidating for prospects.  Prospects who are intimidated may feel embarrassed about asking questions (at the risk of looking ‘stupid’) or appear confident but inwardly have confusion. This drags out the sales cycle.  

2.Demonstrate your product or service without demonstrating your product or service—It takes a high level of sales skill, but you are 100% capable of demonstrating your product or service by answering questions instead of physically showing the product. You may still have a need to physically demonstrate a product or service at the end, but at this point in time the prospect will be heavily qualified and have earned your time.

3.Sell today, educate tomorrow—It is easy for sales cycles to be extended or for prospects to say “no” when they are confused. Sales people are very good at talking too much. Don’t answer unasked questions. Provide the information that is requested by your prospect (and, provide it ONLY if they are qualified to buy.) to help them make a decision. Once they have selected you and have paid for the product or service, you can now educate them about other benefits.

Aaron Prickel
Lushin & Associates, Inc.

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