It’s another bold statement. But, like it or not, in a customer’s mind the quality of a product doesn’t matter one bit. Until, that is, the salesperson does what we’re going to talk about in this month’s article. Once again, the intention is: helping to make salespeople great again.

I don’t own a motorhome yet, and because I can’t really use one right now, a salesperson attempting to sell me one based on its quality would sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher to me. Until I’m in the market for one, that is.

It’s simple: quality doesn’t matter until utility is established.

I know what you’re thinking: “Well, they’re in the market for my product, why else would I be invited into their homes?”

Back in my retail selling days, I figured out early on that product knowledge was one of the keys to earning trust. So, I learned everything there was to know about my product.

I had to learn the hard way, though, that telling prospects how great my product was, right out of the gate, wasn’t very effective.

I get it—belief in your product forms the basis for passion; one of the most successful sales “techniques” ever.

This “Quality vs. Utility” conversation is one that I’ve had with dealer-partners and their sales teams many times over, and its importance is magnified by the level of complexity, amount of accessible information and competitive availability for the feature of a particular offering.

When you have something that is better than “me too,” it’s really easy to start talking about particular benefits.

Doing that before helping the customer understand why—or even if—they need those benefits is selling, not collaborating.

Utility before quality helps people buy without feeling like they’ve been sold, which always leads to higher retention, better reviews and referrals.

In our final installment in this series, we’ll wrap things up and talk about urgency.

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