Jack is a tech geek. He is planning to buy a new mobile phone. He has already researched online on the best options available to him. He also decides to visit the mobile retail store to see if there are better deals there. When he visits the store, the sales representative is unable to provide confident and resourceful answers to Jack’s questions. Even though Jack wanted to give it a shot, he left the store to visit another one. The representative’s lack of product knowledge did not impress Jack. And with this, the store lost a chance at making a sale or finding a loyal customer.

Customers today are smarter than ever. They have classy taste, are aware of every market launch through social media and the internet, and aren’t willing to compromise on quality or service. With a large number of options available online, customers do not even go to retail stores much. For the ones that do, they need to be impressed in all ways for converting them into buying customers.

The benefits of this are many. Not only will the same customer keep coming back, they will also help foster a positive brand image through word of mouth. But how do retail companies achieve this?

Knowledge is power. For retailers, product knowledge can convert to more sales. For this, sales associates need to have an understanding of how to effectively sell a product to a customer by addressing his/her unique needs.

Here are some of the top ways in which increasing product knowledge amongst your sales associates can boost revenues and customer satisfaction:

1. Handling difficult situations with confidence

75% of consumers say it’s absolutely critical or very important to interact with a salesperson who is available when they need them.

Customers today are more empowered than ever. They have a vast range of tools to stay connected with the latest developments in any field. Chances are they already know most of the answers related to products before they enter the store.

However, there are certain questions which do not have answers online. For example, questions related to mixed reviews about a product or reward points on a credit card after buying a product from a particular brand. These situations matter the most and product knowledge becomes crucial. If your team is well versed with offers and details related to a product, they will be in a position to answer such unexpected queries with ease and confidence. A sales team with adequate product knowledge can also realize about these negative perceptions ahead of time and stay prepared. All this helps retain customer faith in genuine service and superior guidance. This increases the likelihood of a sale being made.

2. Offering customized benefits to customers

44% consumers typically know more about a product than a store associate.

One of the biggest mistakes in the sales world is when representatives go on and on about product features, without realizing that all of them might not matter to the customer. Product knowledge is not just knowing about the product, it is also about understanding how each of the features need to be presented to the customer’s advantage. This is why most kinds of product training focus on the Features and Benefits or the FAB approach. In this, sales representatives are taught the difference between the terms features and benefits and why customers need to be presented more with the latter than the former.

Through the right product training, sales representatives can listen intently to what the customer is speaking about, gauge the exact needs and present those benefits that make sense to the customer. For this, the sales representative needs to speak a language the customer understands and wants to hear. This is possible only when the representative is aware of such concerns that might come up related to a product and is well versed with each benefit it offers. This helps customers understand products better, and how it specifically caters to their individual needs, hence increasing the chances of a purchase.

3. Makes representatives more confident and fulfilled

We all want jobs where we can actually make a difference. Even your sales representatives want the same. They want to be invested upon, given guidance on how to do their jobs best and how to help create happier and satisfied customers. This is possible through disseminating knowledge in the right way  as knowledge is power.

Product knowledge helps representatives become aware of product features, kinds of customers in the market, the competitors, customer profiles and the like. An effective product training uses role play and other scenario based learning techniques to make representatives understand the retail business in its totality. Such thorough knowledge makes retail staff much more confident and passionate about solving customer queries to the best of their ability. Knowledge converts to passion towards making a difference in customer’s life. An excited salesman is one who has done her homework as far as product knowledge is concerned. She knows the pain points of her customers and is enthusiastic about solving them through her knowledge. This brings in more satisfied customers and, in turn, helps companies retain their store staff and reduce turnover costs.

4. Enhanced up-selling and cross-selling

Thorough product experience helps create the ideal customer experience as well as a successful sales process. A confident sales representative understands his or her customers very well through the art of communication and intent listening. With this, he or she is able to successfully sell more products that might be in the mind of the customer.

With a seamless knowledge of latest products and features, sales representatives can present the best options for upgrading the most useful benefits to the customers. This improves their ability to cross-sell and up-sell products available in the store.

Making the right connections with these customers can ensure repeat business for retail stores. Customers demand accurate and convincing information about products they are interested in. This is only when asked for, not forced upon. A salesperson who is still struggling with he product he is ought to sell cannot be in the right frame of mind to listen intently to the customer. The representatives at the store can influence customer buying decisions through their confidence and product knowledge, and build trust that can endure beyond a single purchase.

Rapl has helped successfully train retail staff on product knowledge, with stores seeing that convert to higher revenue and customer satisfaction. Train your retail staff through the right ways and see the difference for yourself. To know more click here

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