Distinguishing tactics that separate you from the rest of the pack.

By: Bob Heidenreich

In my last column, I discussed specific techniques that can help combat showrooming (e.g. when customers gather information from physical stores and dealers then take their business online). This month, I would like to discuss how to gain a customer’s loyalty, trust and business.

Most salespeople can read manufacturer manuals and determine the qualities in particular products that make them desirable to a customer. Product knowledge is one of the aspects to land the sale. But, what about your knowledge and services make you a top candidate? Why would a customer choose you over the dealer down the street, or across town? Here are some reasons why:

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You Truly Know the Product
If you would like to gain the upper hand in a sale, really know your product. Don’t scratch the surface with a product’s obvious characteristics. Instead, become the consumer. Why would you want to purchase this product above any other? What are the pros? What are the cons? Here’s your opportunity to use practical product knowledge to set yourself apart. As bizarre as this sounds, I typically take the time to dissect products—both those I sell and those I’ve chosen not to. For example, what does it take to break the product? It’s much easier to sell an item you truly believe in. Familiarizing yourself with every aspect of a product helps you understand why, as a consumer yourself, you would want to purchase the item.

You Know What Makes Your business Unique
While some businesses stand by the advantages that draw customers in, such as great service and product selection, it’s time to break the mold and dig a little deeper. When you say your company offers great service—what do you really mean? Is it because of your employees’ industry experience, or your customer interaction? Why are some of your products priced higher than your competitors? Once you understand the characteristics that make your competitor(s) unique, you can begin to understand how your business is set apart from the rest.

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