The Importance of Product Knowledge
The Key Areas of Product Knowledge
When one hears the term “Product Knowledge” what usually comes to mind is having to know unimportant details or facts about the product that you are selling. However the topic of product knowledge is something far more encompassing and every good salesperson needs to have a good understanding of these four key areas of knowledge: Customer needs, your products, the marketplace, and the competition.
Customer needs is probably the most important area because if you do not know anything about what your customer wants it’s pretty hard to position your product to fit their needs! Too many new sales people will begin a sales call by talking exclusively about their own products without taking the time to find out what the customer needs either by asking or through pre-call planning methods.
Once that need has been discovered, then it becomes important to know all about your products! Knowing every last detail about how it is manufactured is probably not necessary, but knowing the main features and benefits is necessary so you can position your products properly.
Once you know what your customer needs and what your product does it’s important to take a look at how it fits into the bigger picture. What does the marketplace or industry look like? Is it on the up-swing or a downward cycle? Knowing the answers to these questions allows you to position your products most effectively.
The last area to have knowledge about is the competition. As Michael Corleone from the Godfather said, “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” In order to out maneuver or outsmart your competitors you need to know what they are up to. Google was not the first internet search engine, but they conquered the market by seeing what other search providers did and improving upon it.
While not the “sexiest” topic to discuss in sales, product knowledge ranks near the top in importance. My favorite part about this topic is that it is something you can learn on your own now. You don’t have to wait for your manager to teach you any of this – take the initiative! Find out something new about your industry or competition and share with your teammates.
Know the four areas of product knowledge and watch your sales soar to new heights!
Product knowledge is one of the five pillars at Acquirent and is one of the 12 Sales Fundamentals 101 training topics offered in our free sales training.