People working in sales are often classified as unscrupulous, money-hungry, facetious. The fact is, a few bad seeds give the entire profession a bad rap.
We know that being a successful salesperson is about recognizing the customer’s desires and needs even before they do. That’s a hard-earned craft and a finely honed art.
A good salesperson needs to be the opposite of an unscrupulous liar who will say anything just to close a lead. Instead, a good salesperson needs to be an empath, a person who can easily put themselves in the shoes of another.
But before you dive into the little details of human psychology, learn to read subtle bodily cues and verbal tells. For example, you need to perfect one aspect of your sales pitch.
You need to know your product inside and out. It may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many salespeople need to be reminded of this simple fact of existence.
Imagine this scenario – a person is trying to sell you a software subscription. They have their script memorized; they’re fluent, eloquent, and well-spoken. You’re intrigued, but you have a question about the frequency of updates. They fumble, stumble, and it’s apparent they don’t know the answer to your question. Your interest instantly deflates and diminishes. They blew their chance.
Here are a few points that illustrate the importance of having a faultless grasp of what you’re trying to sell.
Knowing your product makes you confident.
A creaky voice and a sweaty handshake do not favor a salesperson. On the other hand, a bit of nerve can help you be alert and respond to your environment more rapidly. Still, it doesn’t take much for the customer to register an excess amount of anxiety, if only unconsciously.
So if you’re constantly losing prospects and you think you’re doing everything right, take a deep introspective look and find out whether your tenseness is sending the wrong signals.
A great way to take the edge off of your pitch is to dedicate a healthy chunk of effort into learning the product to minute details. So make sure you cram everything you can, talk to the developers, ask for printed materials, memorize the manual cover to cover and finish all of the in-depth tutorials.
Knowing you have a complete grasp on what you’re trying to sell will diminish the negative effects of nervousness and help you deliver a much more convincing pitch.
Knowing your product allows you to take more risks.
Sometimes, the situation calls for an audible. You sense you have your prospect’s attention, but you’re also sensing that the rehearsed pitch needs to be changed on the fly.
An outstanding familiarity with your product will aid you in finding alternate avenues into your prospect’s wallet. You’ll be able to drag their attention to the details that most intrigue them, even if that aspect of the product is not normally the main focal point of your pitch.
Knowing your product on an expert level lends a sense of accomplishment
There’s no joy in life like a job well done. Being exceptional at something is its reward. Investing time into perfecting your acquaintance with the product you’re trying to sell is going to do wonders for your endorphin production.
Being ready for any question
There’s no easier way to butcher a pitch than to get stumped by a question. A fumbling response to even the most esoteric of inquiries diminishes your chances of closing considerably.
Of course, staying honest and promising to get back to the prospect on a deep cut about the lineage of the founder’s family is acceptable. But every technical question needs to be answered succinctly, accurately, and with confidence to ensure a smooth transition of funds from the customer’s wallet to your company’s account.
Learning about the product opens new avenues for your pitch
Knowing minute details will inspire you to diversify your vectors of sale. If there’s a hidden use for the product, your pitch will be that much richer and more dazzling. The more ways to leverage the advantages with your prospects, the higher the chances of closing.
Knowing your product means knowing your competition
If you can’t convince your prospect that your product is superior to its competitor, what chances do you hold of snatching them away? A keen awareness of the advantages of your product greatly increases the edge you have against your adversaries.
The only way to maintain that edge is to know exactly where your product excels and where it lags. It goes without saying – emphasize the former, circumvent the latter.
Prospects can sense expertise when they see it.
An air of confidence surrounds you when you’re a walking instruction manual for what you’re trying to sell. But rest assured that the paying customer lives and breathes that air, if only on an unconscious level.
Please don’t overdo it, though. It’s easy to ruin a pitch by showing off your knowledge and rambling about details no one asked about. However, when you do hone in on what your prospect is interested in, release a barrage of detailed information about the feature. This will impress and dazzle, making the money flow and commissions rain.
Knowledge helps you be up to date.
It’s much easier to stay current with your product’s update schedule when you’ve already acquainted yourself thoroughly with the current version. So if an update sheet comes your way, make sure you gobble it up ASAP. And gobbling it up is much easier when you have a healthy base of knowledge already.
Like everything else in life, preparation is king. You can attend as many masterclasses on reading body language cues as your heart desires, you can have the eye contact of a psycho on a first date, you can practice your confident voice in the mirror for months on end. These will all push you in the right direction.
But nothing will increase your chances of closing a sale as having a detailed familiarity with what you’re trying to sell. Memorizing the instruction manual like Holy Scripture will do much for you than a flashy new car or an expensive suit.
At the same time, nothing can interrupt the delicate dance of a sales pitch than an ‘I don’t know; I’ll have to get back to you on that.