If you’re in direct sales, you understand the importance of choosing the right industry, and product, to sell. After all, not all direct sales products are created equal.
That’s why it’s important to be able to adapt to sell a different product.
New products and services mean new approaches. If you’ve honed an approach to one product, and you’re looking to make a transition to the next big opportunity, we’ve put together a short guide to help you do so.
Become an expert in the 4 Ps: Product Knowledge, Pricing. Process, and Pitch.
Changing Direct Sales Products: Product Knowledge
The first thing to do when transitioning to a new product or service? It may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning: become an expert in the product you’re transitioning to.
There are some salespeople who are, for lack of a better word, cocky. “I can sell anything,” they reason, “so I don’t need to worry about my product. After all, what I’m really selling is myself.”
Fellow friends in direct sales, I implore you: don’t drink that Kool-Aid. If you want to help people through a consultative sale, you need to know your product.
Learn the product you’re transitioning to inside and out. Are there manuals and supplementary materials? Read them. Experienced reps who can guide you through the product journey? Take advantage of them.
You need to know all the pros (and potential cons) of your product or service so that you can address and position them properly in the field.
You’ll need to know your product backwards and forwards before you can expect to convince anyone to buy it.
Changing Direct Sales Products: Pricing
Now that you understand your product, you need to know how much it costs. And, more importantly, you need to know how much your potential customers are willing to spend on it.
But in order to effectively talk price, you need to be able to talk value.
People don’t always buy the cheapest product. In fact, a lot of times people buy On-Brand products when a generic option is right next to it on the shelf, priced considerably lower. Why would somebody pay more for the same product?
Because people buy based on value, not price. The On-Brand and generic products do not have the same value to the customer: to them, the On-Brand product is worth paying more because of perceived quality, and as such is a better value for them.
When you are selling a new product, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the new value propositions that come along with that product. Then, once you’ve communicated those and sold the customer on the intrinsic value of your product or service, you can present price points to the customer that now make sense, in context.
Changing Direct Sales Products: Process
New products mean new logistics.
For instance, if you have been selling cleaning supplies or custom kitchen knives, it’s a pretty straightforward proposition. A customer decides to buy. You give them the product from your supply, or place an order for the product for it to arrive within a certain timeframe. You accept payment.
However, let’s say you switched your process to the Telecom industry. When you sell cable and internet services, there are much more logistics to handle. The devices used to connect the service need to be purchased or rented, and then installed. Payment needs to be received on a monthly basis.
There are more people involved in that process. Which means there are more places to drop the ball, and a greater importance on getting the process right.
Make sure you know the sales process for your new product like the back of your hand. After all, you won’t feel confident presenting a product to a customer if you’re not confident in the conditions of delivery.
Changing Direct Sales Products: Pitch
Last, but certainly not least: your sales pitch.
If you’re selling a new product, you want to make that product fell compelling to your customer. And that’s where your sales pitch comes in.
I find that there are 3 basic components to a decent sales pitch:
Building rapport with a customer is absolutely crucial if you want to move ahead in a deal. The key to this is to sell without feeling ‘salesy.’ Don’t be pushy. Be open and genuine. Be clear about the purpose of your call and visit, and be willing to listen to your prospective customers to better understand their wants and needs.
Ask some questions that relate to the pain or problem that your product addresses. Talk about competing solutions and bring them out side-by-side with your product. Nobody likes to work with someone who feels like they have something to hide. So be open about your offerings and how they stack up to the competition. It will help build value!
Finally, you can’t sell anything if you don’t ask for the sale. There are plenty of ways to go about this, but in direct sales we find the assumptive close works pretty well. Offer a brief summary of the value that you’ve presented earlier and then ask how many of your products, or which service package, they’d be interested in purchasing. If you’ve followed the previous steps correctly, chances are you’ll end this conversation with a sale.
Bonus Step: Practice!
Really take the time to hone these steps well. Revise and repeat your pitch based on the feedback that you get, whether they are objections, hesitations, or outright rejections. Learn how to overcome the hurdles you face and how to position your product based on its overall value.
You can’t get better at product knowledge or pitch without really investing the time in regular practice sessions. Initiate role-play exercised with your fellow salespeople. If you’re a sales team leader, make regular product and pitch training a part of your team’s process.
Regardless, if you understand the building blocks of a successful sale, you’ll be able to roll with the punches when transitioning into new products or services… allowing you to help more people with their needs, and help improve your own sales game.
If you’re looking to build a career in direct sales, Solcomm would love to hear from you.
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