If you analyze the standard sales training program of most companies, you’ll usually see some variation of the following:
– Internal procedures 15%
– HR and Paperwork 10%
– Product knowledge 75%
The biggest problem with this standard training plan is that it stresses the product knowledge way too much. As a result, you get a team of sales people who are overly eager to share massive amounts of product information with anyone who’ll listen. Selling isn’t telling, and if you are trained to tell people about your product as a priority, you are not set up for success.
A better approach is to not rush the pitch, or be over eager to share information. This is both counter-intuitive and tricky, because prospects often ask for information, green lighting most sales people into data dump mode.
Please don’t misunderstand me, you need to know your product, and know it well, but that doesn’t mean you need to share all that knowledge automatically.
Instead of throwing up all over your prospects, focus on understanding their challenges (ideally the ones that relate to your product). Ask them follow up questions and when you share product information, keep it surface level. Don’t try to read their mind. Allow them to ask for more information.
Any product information you share will be received twice as well and have considerable more impact if it is shared as a response to their question, instead of preemptively pushing it.
Yes, I know, your company trained you very well on every detail and benefit of your product, and yes, I know, you are eager to share that with your clients. Remember though, it only matters if they believe it matters.
If sales success was based on volume of data shared, companies wouldn’t need sales people. They’d just mass email everyone their product info. The value you bring as a sales person is understanding the client so you can pick and choose what information to focus on.