Have you ever noticed that new salespeople are often great sellers right off the bat? Of course, the owners are dying to teach them as much product knowledge as possible. After they get the product knowledge, something happens, they start losing sales. What’s the problem?
Product knowledge not linked to the customer’s situation is confusing. The customer doesn’t want to know everything, only what they need to know to fix their problem. Why would I care about the car’s paint job if I’m asking whether the car will do 95 mph on a curvy road in the rain? Why not stick to the obvious, the tires and the suspension?
We all know that customers buy value, and value can help overcome the price issue. Too much value can kill the sale. Let’s say the customer is concerned if the carpet she’s looking at has the best stain resist on the market. (She has an incontinent old dog and knows she will have to use a disinfectant on it so that’s another condition of satisfaction.) The sales person is so excited that he starts talking about the twist, the denier and the backing, adding features that are now confusing to the customer. If we give the customer too many features, the customer thinks the price is too high. Why pay for something you don’t need?
Customers buy features that benefit them not a load of random benefits. Customers expect certain benefits when they make a purchase. They will ask, “I want this printer to print out 20 sheets in 30 seconds.” If that’s what the customer wants, then tell her what feature makes the printer fast. That’s what she’s buying. If she balks at the price, then she’ll have to decide if her need is really that important.
Selling is about solving the customer’s problem, nothing else. A good salesperson listens for the problem and finds the right product. Sometimes we spend too much time trying to fix other problems that don’t exist.
If it’s so simple why don’t we do it? Salesmen get nervous—there’s too much silence they say; I’ve got to talk! You know the old saying, “The first one who talks loses.”
Selling is simple the customer will tell you exactly what they need. Your job, fill the need.