Knowing your products and services

Product knowledge is an essential sales skill. Understanding your products' features allows you to present their benefits accurately and persuasively. Customers respond to enthusiastic sales staff who are passionate about their products and eager to share the benefits with them.

Get to know your products or services

Customers are more likely to trust sales people who show confidence in themselves and what they are selling. You can build this confidence by increasing your knowledge of your products or services.

Use conventional and creative sources of information to learn about your products or services, including:

  • your own experiences using the products
  • product literature such as brochures and catalogues
  • online forums
  • feedback from customers
  • trade and industry publications
  • internal sales records
  • your team members
  • visits to manufacturers
  • sales training programs
  • competitor information.

Be honest about shortcomings

If your product or service has some shortcomings in certain situations, be honest about them with your customers. Let them know early on if you don’t think your product or service is right for them and they will be more inclined to trust you when they need something in the future.

Turn product features into benefits

As you engage customers, you can use your knowledge to lead your customer through the sales process, and make their experience an enjoyable one that they'll want to revisit.

Successful salespeople know all of their products' features and skilfully turn these features into benefits for their customers.

To practice this skill, list your product's features, potential benefits, and all information up front for your customers. Consider how you can communicate the potential benefits, for example:

Product features Possible benefits for your customer
Its purpose It will meet your needs and save you time and money
How it works It is easy to use so you won't be frustrated by complicated features
How it is developed or manufactured It supports local industry and helps the environment
How it is checked for quality You can be confident it will work
How it is delivered You don't have to worry about delivery; we organise that for you
How it is maintained and serviced You can be assured that if it needs maintenance, we will take care of it for you
How long it is likely to last (including any warranties) You can be confident that if it has any problems we will fix it or replace it while under warranty
Its price You can comfortably afford it
How it compares to similar products the business offers You can base your decision on the good reputation our business has earned for selling other well-regarded products
How it compares to competitors' products You are receiving quality and value for money
Its strengths and limitations (the capability of the product to deliver benefits to clients) You are buying a product that is well-matched to your particular needs
Other products that might complement it Buying this companion product will allow you to meet the needs of your entire household