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Know What You're Selling: Why Product Knowledge is the Key to Repeat Business
By: Business.com Editorial Staff
Published: September 27, 2016, 7:00 pm

Knowing your product is something entrepreneurs often underestimate. They assume they know their product because they can reel off its stats.

But you need to dig deeper than that if you’re going to keep your customers coming back for more. The fact is most businesses fail and entrepreneurs find it challenging to sell their products.

Knowing who your product can help and understanding the difference between a feature and a benefit will help you to sell more of your products and services.

Take Salesforce as an example of a company that knows how to do this. One of the biggest reasons why their customers keep coming back for more is because their sales reps are so knowledgeable. They find it easy to give customers the answers they’re looking for.

Related Article: Tips From Closers: 8 Pro Techniques Top Sales Professionals Use When Selling

What’s the Difference Between a Feature and a Benefit?

To begin with, this is a prime reason why Salesforce has had the success it has. Most entrepreneurs are marketing their features, not their benefits. And they’re shocked to find that their target market isn’t responding to them in the way they want. The main difference between a feature and a benefit is that a feature is just part of the product. A benefit is what the user gets out of it.

Take Salesforce’s cloud computing solution as an example. One of their features is cloud computing allows you to access your files from anywhere where there’s an Internet connection. But what they’re actually marketing is that customers have more flexibility as to where they work. It’s the exact same part of the product, but it’s marketed in a different way. Marketing benefits over features is what gets customers interested.

Are You Solving a Problem?

Everything in the business world of today is about solving a problem. The fact is that the majority of businesses are not solving problems. They’re telling people what they can do for them. None of this matters if it doesn’t solve the main problem the prospect has.

Chris Clifton of CoinAdvisor.com said, “We never tell our customers what they’re not interested in hearing. As a customer of Salesforce, we find they have a lot in common. You only get the answers to the questions you actually have. For example, if someone asks about a coin from Canada we never tell them about all the coins from South Africa because that’s not solving their problem.”

Everything about your business should be about solving a problem. If you’re not solving a problem the chances are you’re not going to be in business for long.

Related Article: The 5 Types of Sales Beasts & How to Spot Them in the Wild

You Need a Dedicated Team

One aspect of knowing your product is making the right people available when it’s time to market to or help a customer. For this, you should have a dedicated team within your company that knows the product inside and out. They shouldn’t just know the technical aspects of it, they should know how to use it.

What separates the Salesforce brand from others is their employees actually use the product they sell. They’re learning more and more about it every single day. That knowledge can go into creating that dedicated team. It’s why when a customer calls they know they’re going to someone who knows what they’re talking about.

Always make sure the people working for you know more about the product than the people using it.

Why Repeat Business Is So Important

To illustrate the importance of these points, you need to understand why repeat business is so important in the first place. The 80/20 rule states that 80 percent of your revenue will come from 20 percent of your current customers.

Studies have shown that businesses waste far more money bringing in new customers than simply keeping the ones they already have. Make sure you do your best to secure that repeat business and upsell them. Again, it all goes back to repeat business. Repeat business will make or break your business.

Related Article: Born to Sell: Qualities of a Successful Sales Representative

Last Word: How to Start Knowing Your Product

The best way to start knowing your products, and teaching your employees to know your product, is to put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Think about what they would want to know about your products and the likely obstacles they’ll come up against.

It’s essential that you place a big emphasis on the products you’re selling in your company. Forcing your sales reps to undergo regular training and testing will ensure they remain sharp.

Why do you think knowing your product is so important?

 

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