In this job, knowledge is key. It’s what really impresses a customer. If you can sit down on their sofa and answer a range of difficult and unusual questions (lets face it, we’ve all had those types of customers who want to know about every screw and glazing bead) then you stand a much better chance of winning the job.
Where I work, we make it our business to know every single product, inside and out. And it really does make a difference. If we are sat with a customer who has already had two or three other companies in before us, we regularly get comments about how much knowledgeable we are compared to everyone else. Customers tell us on a scarily often basis how when they asked the previous salesman the same questions as they did us, they were unable to answer them. I know why, the bigger companies, especially the nationals, train their salesman to close a deal and that’s pretty much it. Closing a deal is a skill we all need, but if poorly armed with information against the many discerning customers out there leaves that salesman flapping and looking rather stupid.
But it’s not just product knowledge that a salesman has to have now. As @GlazingGuru pointed out in a post over on the ATS blog, the job of a salesperson is much much more than just selling product. We need to know more than that. One of those new facets to our job if fitting knowledge. If a customer is in the market to buy new windows and doors, they’re probably going to want to know how we are going to disrupt their home life to fit the products. We have to know how to fit the stuff we sell. Again, something I know a lot of other salesman won’t gave a clue about. Now I do KNOW how to fit a window or door, however, the end result might be one that might not make the brochures. The key though is being able to demonstrate to the customer that you know your business from start to finish, even though you’re only there to do the selling bit.
So, know your product. Know your business. Know it form start to finish. The customer is much more inquisitive, much more knowledgeable and much more wary of anyone selling anything. Being able to answer any question they throw at you as a test and being able to answer it confidently will put you in a better place to win their order.