Stop selling … if there were two words to summarize our last discussion about Quality vs. Utility, it would be these two. There’s a natural tendency for a passionate, committed salesperson to talk about how great their product is before understanding and confirming its usefulness for the homeowner. Here’s a way to alter this:

There’s a three-step process we share with our dealer partners to understand how the customer can take advantage of our product’s features and benefits before we tell them how great our product is. We call it “Educate, Differentiate, Articulate.”

Because of the way customers do research, today’s effective marketing and selling model must have an educational component. A recent article that I read stated that today’s customer does 60 to 70 percent of their overall research independently before ever reaching out to talk to a salesperson.

That’s one of the reasons we work so hard with dealer partners on effective marketing methods designed to reach customers who already have information.

In the home, the education process has several applications:

Dealing with the General

This is when your vendor partner offers a particular standard feature that most other competitive products don’t offer, or only offer as an option. Educating customers on this is as simple as identifying competitive products that don’t offer that bonus and helping them see why they need it.

Handle the Specifics

As you would imagine, customers do most of their research on the internet. Confirming the legitimate information that they find builds trust. Unfortunately, not all information that they get from the internet is definitive. You’ll have to convince them that the information that they have is not necessarily true. This education can work wonders.

Clear up the Abstract

This is where real education happens. Many times a feature/benefit of your product is fairly abstract or highly technical. In this case, the information that customers find is either limited or highly specialized. It might also be something that competitors would rarely, if ever, talk about. This leaves it up to you to educate the consumer. A good educator can take the abstract, technical feature/benefit and relate to both the technically challenged customer as well as the analytical or tech-savvy type.

To be more effective in the educational parts of your presentation, remember the following:

Stay at 30,000 feet

This is the time for dealing with high-level issues. For example, you should be talking about whether the insulation in the frames of your windows is necessary, not whether dead air chambers, Styrofoam or polyurethane is the right way to go.

Be Ready for it

There’s an old truism that says the best way to learn something is to prepare as if you were going to teach it to someone else. With so much more information available and your potential customer doing so much research before talking to you, it’s imperative to know what they know. This will help you confirm the accurate information and help you gently educate to the fullest extent.

It’s All About Them

Talking specifically about your product or your process is an absolute no-no during this phase. This strictly is about helping determine utility, not the quality of your product. There will be plenty of time to tell them how great your offering is later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *