Wednesday, 12 July
Today's Topic
Product Aptitude

Skill

It is a tired myth that you must know everything about your product. Your customers will benefit more when you help them define what they want from your offering and how it can benefit them.

A guy approaches you on the street and asks what time it is. Do you launch into a 3-minute rambling description of how your Rolex works?

Of course not. You tell him what time it is. (Duh.)

The gravitational pull you feel to explain lots of stuff about your product in pitch meetings is understandable: internally, you’re inundated with product training, product memos, and all-hands meetings that glorify the bells and whistles.

The TOP 10% know that knowing your product does NOT mean you need to know your product inside and out. That’s a myth about selling that needs to be extinguished.

The TOP 10% view product aptitude through a simple lens. When thinking about or being trained on product features (new or old), they ask themselves, "What does this mean for my prospects and customers? How does this enhance the value for them?"

Your customers don’t want to know everything about your offering. (Nor do they need to.) Further, your customers don’t expect you to know everything about your offering; but they do expect you to get back to them with answers promptly when asked

Before you excuse yourself from your company’s next product training, agree it is your responsibility to know your product. But it’s more important to help customers understand what they want from your offering.

Knowing how to qualify your customer and learn what they most care about is far more important than knowing everything about your product or service.

Do

The "So What…!" move is simple and effective in prompting you to discuss your value to customers. Use it liberally, and your customers will never be confused about what value you offer.

You may have a few tricks up your sleeve that remind you to talk to your customers about value as much as product features. But have you tried the "So What…!" pop-up bubble maneuver? You might like it.

Today, when pitching your wares and talking about your product, launch the imaginary "So What…!" pop-up bubble that floats over your head. When you, and only you, notice the bubble, it’s your cue to translate features into benefits.

There is a very short user manual for the "So What…!" trick if you want to try it.

Having a deep and broad aptitude for your product is great, but it means nothing without the ability to translate features into benefits. When discussing your product in customer pitch meetings, push yourself to focus on benefits by using the "So What…!" trick. It’s a good way to ensure you don’t spend too much time on features.

The "So What…! bubble is a trigger. When you see it floating above your head, finish the sentence aloud for the customer. "So what this means to you is X, Y, and Z." Or, "So what you should interpret from that product description is that you’ll be able to do A, B, and C with our product." And if you really want to show off, you could say something like this, "So you’re asking ‘so what’? …so what does this mean for me? Here’s what it means to you."

The great thing about the "So What…!" move is that it really works, but sometimes users forget to hit its START button. You’ll find that button on a Post-it note that you create with the words "So What…!" on it. That post-it note should stick on your monitor and in your notebook. Follow your gut on how often you should hit the START button.

Tomorrow - June 20

"Buyer, I object to your stupid objection."

Today - June 19

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"To be the best salesperson put yourself in the shoes of the person to whom you’re selling. Don’t sell your product. Solve their problems." -Mark Cuban

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