Aggressively obtaining and maintaining knowledge about everything related to your business will help you succeed in your business. By Gary Shotton #000115
By Gary Shotton
Hello, my name is Gary Shotton and I am sitting here in my manufacturing company and I’m going to talk to you today about knowledge, particularly quality and product knowledge your product. Do you know enough about it and about your competitors and what is expected for your customers to choose you?
We are all faced with a challenge especially with the internet. Now people shop around a lot more maybe than they did in the past. It is becoming a big problem for those that have what we call a brick-and-mortar store where they pay for the expense of a nice building and air conditioning. And a person that is knowledgeable in the sales base there and they are selling and then the customer comes in. I have done a little bit of this go in and shop around and then I can leave even just in my car and check my phone and search it on the internet and say, I can save 20% if I buy it online. buy it online deliver it to me have it tomorrow that is a great deal.
So, we must be careful about what we know and how we share it and how we create a knowledge base so people will stay with us. Now service industry is just a little bit easier maybe than the product industry, because truly the product industry has a problem because you can have the most knowledgeable sales force you could go into great depths you could be very convincing you could have the best facility the best-looking facility and bang like I mentioned they could go on the internet buy it have it delivered tomorrow and you’re basically out of the loop I don’t have a whole lot of solution to that problem right now.
So, I am going to talk a little bit more about products that you cannot buy online, and we will deal with those that you can buy online maybe a little bit later. I learn about that but there are certain things that you cannot buy online, I am in that kind of industry. You cannot go to the Internet; my customers cannot go and buy what I am selling because it is customer specific. We have a contracting commitment to make that work not much more anymore can you go buy a car online you could but there is usually some kind of a dealership involved by most transactions so I am not saying you cannot find it and you cannot buy it from a dealer that is advertising online but at some point, they probably must come to you. Another one is air conditioner in my house I just had a new air conditioner of being installed in fact this week the old one went out so I needed to buy a new air conditioning unit which I just cannot go online and buy it I need to somebody to install it so it is more complicated than just shopping around. So, we are talking about those kinds of customers and situations, and you know I must believe that there is one sometimes we lump sales and marketing or marketing and sales in the same breath or in the same thought pattern.
Here is how I divide the two, “Marketing” is the tool that gets the potential customer in front of me in the store, on my website or in somehow made contact through the marketing many ways for marketing to be effective. But once they are in touch with me the first-time sales need to take over. I was talking to a friend about the internet again I am not being that knowledgeable, but they are able to measure what is considered the bounce that means somebody found you and within seconds within just five seconds or less they click off because something maybe they were on the wrong website but maybe they saw something that they bounced off that is an indicator. So, marketing got them to your store even if its way based and sales must complete the sale
In my opinion now this sale a lot of people don’t spend the time to get truly engulfed in the knowledge about their product or service they lay it on a high level and maybe rely on just sales techniques I can pick up when somebody is just using sales techniques because I don’t want to be used as an object of just good salesmanship I want to know that personally that the customer are the supplier that’s explaining to me the product or service they have knowledge and I can pick up on that really fast. I can pick up on that because I start asking some basic questions that, you should have been explained to me and certainly they should have knowledge of that and that should have come forth before I even ask. let me give some examples, I have a reason to look at certain investments from time to time and these people came to me and wanted me to invest I told them first it would be a small amount and the likelihood of me investing would be less than 25 percent. So, I am not giving any illusions to me being aggressive going to buy for just any old thing and this product was really a company that they want to be the Sale invest in. So, there they have got marketing. I’m in touch with them so the marketing whatever it may be it was a word-of-mouth, in this case now they need to sell that investment to me so I started asking them some basic questions well, they first pulled out the balance sheet and income statement showed how much money we’re going to make well that’s just numbers that’s okay that might work out like that but we saw some holes in those numbers right away , what was presented to us really could not have been very factual somebody’s not telling the total truth based on the numbers we saw but let’s go deeper so I started asking about the knowledge that they had about this product and we became very out of us obvious these two people that had come to me had not done enough research they didn’t know they had not even gone and looked at the product be in use that we were selling we’re selling replacement parts for somebody and so I was not sold let’s talk about maybe 30 years ago there was a one of the big three in the automotive industry was Chrysler and they were in trouble sales were off it wasn’t working and this leader called Lee Iacocca he regrouped because he had his cut his sales department his showrooms they became very knowledgeable let’s talk about my air-conditioning unit my friend really came to me because I need an air conditioning I called them happened to be a friend but I have a challenge here their price is higher than somebody else could and the person presented the facts to me because they were
knowledgeable about this air conditioning unit they explain things in a way that I could see I was buying quality and thus I could justify paying some higher price than this bare-bottom price let’s talk about my shop here I other people can make these parts other people can do this but I’m constantly selling the parts over, because we’re knowledgeable we have a quality department that brings knowledge to the base they know how to read prints they know how to defend themselves they know how to look what’s the right material is that we are machinists know how to fix things and how to do things where our customer doesn’t you want to become in essence the regional expert that’s another subject on your product and many people do not spend the time to be knowledgeable enough about their product to be able to really defend it so if there is a slight price or our margin increase you’re going to sell quality you’re not always going to be the cheapest so you’ve got to sell quality but if you don’t have knowledge about it you’re not going to be able to sell and if your people don’t have that knowledge you’re going to have to create test-retest and double check to be sure your people have that knowledge or how it goes to your marketing and it served the job but you didn’t make the sale.
Hope this helps glad you are with us hope you will help us on our website here in Inspiring Better Business; www.ibbtalks.com. Please share the word. Thank you.
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