You Can’t Sell What You Don’t Know


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Selling is both an art and a science. On the ‘science’ side, certain skills and techniques are required to navigate sales processes in order to understand buyers and their needs. On the ‘art’ side, selling is more emotional and fuzzy.

Sales agents can genuinely connect with their audience by knowing the products they sell. It starts with intimately knowing about the products that agents are selling. In other words, sales people should actually USE the products they sell.

Take for instance an agent tasked with selling a cleaning product, and they have no prior experience using the product. That agent should bring it home and use it as customers would. This sales practice applies to all products and services across a diverse range of industries. Even though it seems straightforward, the majority of sales agents do not have experience with the products and services they are pitching. This is a critical factor leading to undesirable conversion rates.

Becoming entrenched in products that agents sell is a trait that makes centers unique. We encourage our agents to take the products home to use them first hand, as their customers would. To empower buyers to make a purchase, agents must know 2 things: the product and the purchaser.

Many agents in the call center industry fail to increase conversion rates because they lack personal knowledge about the product, not because of the sales process (the science). Many call centers emphasize process, scripting and technology during training. Knowing a script and how to navigate objections is extremely important. However, it can only get an agent so far. They’ll likely lose out on many sales by relying on the script alone.

Sales agents can set themselves apart by knowing and USING products. Agents will be more confident, focused, and present because they know the products’ benefits firsthand. The key factor in successfully selling products over the phone or in person lies in connecting customers with the benefits of the products that suit their needs. Product familiarity gives agents the ability to relate specific product features with the desires and buying signals of a customer.

From the customer’s perspective, a knowledgeable sales person is nirvana. Think about how rare it is for a customer to deal with a sales person that is able to answer questions with thought, knowledge, and expertise. This positive experience will probably lead to a consumer purchase. The customer experience is often talked about in customer service terms, but the same rules apply to sales interactions with customers.

Agents must quickly identify the steps needed to navigate successful conversations with consumers. This capability goes way beyond training and agent scripting. The skill is derived from a foundation that is built off of agent success, knowledge, and most importantly by making connections with customers.

Marion Timpson
Marion Timpson is the founder and Chief Performance Officer for PlusOne Company. Marion's background started as a call center agent for a leading call center outsourcer. After quickly becoming one of the top sales producers in that organization, Marion decided to start PlusOne Company. Since the company's inception in 2008, PlusOne has risen to the top of the Direct Response industry as the company with the highest sales conversion rates.


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