Most people would agree that product knowledge is a good thing. Discussing a product or service with someone with limited knowledge of it can be a frustrating and unproductive experience.
However, we have all experienced the situation where people spend most of the sale interaction telling us all they know, whether we want to hear it or not. The effect can confuse, overwhelm, and worst of all, cause delay or even inertia in making a buying decision.
What is product knowledge:
There are pros and cons to product reviews, not only for shoppers like me but also for e-commerce businesses. Here are few.
- Price and value not just how much it costs, but how can one pay for it, and how does this compare with other options.
- Quality and how it compares to others.
- Experience the amount of time invested, or the number of units sold and serviced, or the degree of improvement that has been made, in making the product or service good.
- Expertise or specialism whether you specialize in the product or service.
- Unique point of difference what makes this product or service unique?
- Knowledge of service basics what are the elements and processes in the product or service itself? How is it purchased? How is it used?
Pros derive sales and reduce returns give shoppers an feeling of security by reading about others who have purchased and used products that they are considering. Offer insight into most appropriate applications of products. Provide additional resources to customers that can improve the product experience potentially reducing returns.
- It strengths communication skills. More knowledge enables the sales person to explain things in different ways and with fewer words, which might lead to better and more efficient communication. A product like this can be very complicated for the layperson to understand, so product knowledge can help the sales person to explain the features and benefits of the product in a way that tis simple to understand.
- It boosts enthusiasm and confidence sometime, knowing a lot of information about something may lead to enthusiasm or even evangelism about a certain product. While belief does not always follow knowledge, it can be a useful route to increase the amount of belief people have in a product. Strangely, I have also seen the opposite effect. Sometimes those who are new to a product will be enthusiastic about it because they do no yet know all of its weaknesses.
- it assists in overcoming objections this is most important and useful applications of product knowledge. One of our core beliefs is that people want to know about what they are interested in, as opposed to what you are interested in. one way to understanding what they are interested in is eliciting and listening to questions.
Give shoppers as skewed impression of a product if there is just one review or rating, especially if the review or rating is not positive.
- It leaves less room for questions the more you talk, the gaps you fill, the fewer questions people talk. Talking too much can also fatigue prospects, rendering all your good information rather useless. Questions stimulate conversation, and conversations tend to lead to more decisions and actions. In our interpersonal skills training we teach how to leave appropriate gaps in conversion to allow the prospect to ask question.
- It can give your prospect too much to think about one of the most common objections to taking action is “I want to think about it”. Often, we are our own worst enemies. We firehose the prospect with so much information that we quite literally give them too much to think about. It is been proving that providing the customer with too many options provokes a king of paralysis that can prevent them from buying anything at all. Amazon limited their product suggestions for cross selling to 6 items to prevent this sales paralysis from occurring.
- it can obscure the need to detect and analyze needs and slow down presentations. There is some research that suggests that “the human body is hard wired to pulse. To operate at our best, we need to renew our energy at 90-minute intervals- not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally.” This is one reason we advocate 90 minute consultations from start to finish. Using that time to disseminate product information erodes one’s ability to discover needs. This is the wrong focus and is a recipe for low conversions.