How Well Do You Know the Products You Sell?

I visited a new restaurant over the weekend and after ordering a glass of wine, introduced myself to our assigned waiter, Jason.  Due to the uniqueness of the menu selections, I had plenty of questions; how exactly is Nettle Soup made, what are Hakurei Turnips and could Gingery Fermented Cabbage actually taste good?  I am a self proclaimed foodie but needed more info to understand what I was going to feast upon.

I was so impressed with Jason and the wait staff’s detailed knowledge of the food descriptions, wine and intricate preparations that I immediately felt remiss and lacking in my own sales product knowledge…..can’t help but to always be thinking like a sales rep or a marketer!

 As a multi-line sales rep, it is very challenging to be the perceived expert in all aspects of the product lines we sell, just like a retailer is challenged to be knowledgeable or train their staff on all products in their store.  With that stated, is it not our responsibility and the customers right to expect in depth knowledge of the products we sell?
Would all parties increase sales if we had more in depth info at the forefront of our brains, ready for each and every encounter with a buyer or consumer? 


A few years ago our company represented a high quality line of leather jewelry and travel cases, the manufacturer insisted that each sales rep associated with their product line receive detailed training.  Every rep had to complete and get graded on product presentations in front of company personnel and then in front of a minimum of 3 retail customers.  None of the sales reps on the team were enthused about going through this exercise,  but we had no choice.  In the end, it was a win-win.  We had a thorough understanding of the product line and felt confident in every way to successfully sell the product.  Mission accomplished for this manufacturer, but what about all of the other manufacturers that fall short of this type of detailed sales training?


No doubt we could all benefit from having more in depth knowledge and understanding of what we sell, yet time is always the dragon we wrestle.  Is there something we should give up or change in order to become more product knowledgeable to gain more wins?


FYI-Dinner was great and the nettle soup is something I would recommend.  Your thoughts and comments on this topic will be devoured and shared by me.


A great post from Inc. on this topic:
Bon Appetit!

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