I have to be frank - most people don't agree with me on this - but I have to say it. You don’t need product knowledge to sell.
Here are my thoughts and my logic. You tell me, am I crazy?
People think you need product knowledge to sell because historically the people that were good at their job, were in that job for years. They knew the product inside and out. When new people observed this top performer,they saw them feature-benefit selling (listing all the product and features to a customer).
If you agree that feature-benefit selling is dead - then by that same notion, you agree you don't need product knowledge to sell.
Does having product knowledge help? Of course. Yet I consistently hear from colleagues, acquaintances and our partners that their salespeople aren’t performing, despite “being in the industry.” It doesn’t need to be this way.
What do I so often see on job boards?
Ed-tech job posting - looking for those with educational backgrounds (teacher, subs, admins)!
Fin-tech job posting - looking for people who used to sell insurance or banking!
Health-tech job posting - looking for people who used to…you get the point.
What if instead, you hired the person who is best at getting other people to do things? Not that most knowledgeable in your industry, but the one with the most ‘jedi force’. The one who is the best at getting other people to do things.
The worst salespeople sound like sales people.
The best salespeople don't sound like sales people.
Sales is about psychology and sociology. The sociology aspect refers to how a person’s surroundings and community shape their thoughts and actions. Psychology goes even deeper to understand how the brain is specifically creating actions. The best salespeople know how the human brain works and know how to create actions from their prospects. For example there are trigger words to the consumer. Saying things like “follow-up” or “interested” are words that consumers here ONLY when they are speaking to a _________? The answer is sales person. So understand that the psychological implications of the words you choose will give you a competitive advantage.
You need a sales jedi, and a good one. In true sales mastership, like anything, there is a dark side and a light side and you must use your powers of mind control for good.
It's not about what you say or what your product can do, it's about what you ask and how you do it. Product knowledge absolutely helps, but if you think it's the data point that will take you to success you're wrong.
What do you think? Am I crazy? Let me know on Twitter @Gabemoncayo.