Retail Product Knowledge

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Product Knowledge: Use it appropriately

I cannot stress enough the importance of product knowledge when it comes to making sales. Those who have learned everything they can about the  products they sell have a distinct advantage over those who donít. Given the option, customers would choose to talk to the person who knows the most about the product they are considering.

Good product knowledge will help even the most reserved sales associate. It gives them confidence knowing they have something of value to tell the customer.

Make no mistake about it, in the sales business you had better know your stuff.

Having said all that, I must also point out that overuse of product knowledge can be a very bad thing. How, you say?

I went to a specific store to purchase a specific product. As I entered I was greeted with a warm, welcoming smile and a very enthusiastic Ďhelloí. The salesperson approached me and started to tell me about a current promotion. She did a great job letting me know how much she knew about the product. I was impressed with her presentation of the product and, of course, her knowledge of the ingredients and where they came from and how good the ingredients would be for my skin and, and, and.

The only problem is that the associate did not stop talking about the product long enough to find out what I needed or wanted. She did not find out why I was in the store in the first place.

Listening is more beneficial than talking, particularly because you need to figure out what your customer needs and/or wants. You will get your chance to dazzle the customer with your knowledge of the product only if you can keep the customer engaged long enough to start building rapport. Donít blow it early by going on and on about a product that your customer may have no interest in whatsoever. To figure this out ask questions and listen carefully to what she is saying and then use your knowledge appropriately. Otherwise, itís a waste of your time and theirs. Your time aside, customers of today do not feel warm and fuzzy about someone who wastes their time. Donít be that someone.

Always remember that your objective in using product knowledge in the sales process is to procure an immediate or future sale, not to showcase your talents.


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