Some products sell themselves – toothpaste, socks, laundry detergent, dog food, etc. Other things often require some effort and involve a salesperson, consultant, or advisor – insurance, complex electronics, wedding dresses, replacement windows, financial investments, and more.
Whether these salespeople are selling just one brand (such as a dedicated insurance agent or the sales guy at the Jeep dealership), or they are making recommendations between different brands (such as an independent insurance agent or a flooring sales rep), these salespeople are major influencers in the customers’ decision and buying process.
The ultimate question is, “How do we make sure that these sales reps are most effectively selling your products or services?” And the ultimate answer is, “Make is easy for them.”
Of course, making something easy is seldom actually easy.
Here are the two most effective ways to make it easier for a salesperson to recommend and successfully sell your product.
- Make the customers ask for your brand.
- Be superior.
Make Customers Ask For Your Brand.
By making the customer predisposed to your brand, and ideally, inspiring them to ask for it by name, you are making it very easy for the salesperson to recommend and sell your product or service. You’ve seriously cut the time and effort of the sale to a fraction of what it would be if the prospect walked into the store or office with no idea which brand they were most strongly considering.
To make customers want to buy your product (or at least make them biased toward buying your product), you must market to them before they are ready to make a decision. They need to see you on TV and social media. They need to read your billboards and postcards. They need to hear your radio commercials and your brand advocates.
You need to educate them, drive them to your website, and connect with them on a logical and emotional level. You need to market to them and build brand desire in much the same way you would if your product or service was bought direct instead of through a salesperson.
This might seem obvious, but sometimes the obvious thing is the most important thing to say. (See “Obvious Adams.”) If you are in some way superior, it will be easier for salespeople to recommend and sell your product or service.
Please understand, being superior doesn’t need to mean having the highest quality or the often-associated highest price. It simply means being superior in some important way. Here are six ways your brand can be superior.
If your product or service has easily understood superior features and benefits, it is significantly easier for a salesperson to convince a potential customer that your brand is the best choice. You can communicate this superiority through product claims, unique features or functionality, quality ingredients, better manufacturing processes, warranties, evidence of attention to detail, testimonials, reviews, awards, satisfaction scores, and more.
Superior Sales Tools
If you provide salespeople with the easiest-to-use and most effective sales tools, your tools are the ones they’re going to use. Whether you’re creating printed collateral, POS displays, or digital sales presentation tools, the more quickly and effectively these tactics communicate the benefits of your offering, the more likely the salesperson will be to use your tools, and therefore sell your product or service.
If you enable the salesperson to offer something valuable that he or she can’t offer with the competition, that salesperson will be more likely to recommend your brand. Why? Because it will be more likely to lead to an easier sale. Your offer could be superior because of price, unique features and benefits, package deals, great warranty, or anything similar that will make buying your product or service seem more appealing than buying the competitors’. (You could also include superior commissions, margins, or sales rewards as a superior offer to salespeople, because these things make it easier for sales reps to recommend your product since they know they’ll be well compensated.)
If your organization is easier to work with, salespeople will choose to work with you. If the protocol for a getting a rate quote is intuitive and quick, advisors will be more likely to recommend your policies. If your process for ordering custom items is simpler than that of your competitors, salespeople will probably direct potential customers toward your products.
If your organization provides helpful coaching that makes salespeople more efficient and effective, your brand is likely to gain a greater share of each sales rep’s increased business because they appreciate the value you’ve added … and your coaching probably matches nicely to your products and processes.
And this last one is simple. If they know, like, and trust you more than they know, like, and trust your competitors – and everything else is pretty much equal – salespeople will recommend you to customers just because you are easy and enjoyable to work with … and they like you.
So remember, just because your product or service is sold through a salesperson who might not even work for you, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a huge impact on the sales process and which products get recommended.
Not sure how to influence the actions and results of the people selling your products and services? We can help. Let’s talk. Weber Associates is the frontline firm that blurs the line between marketing and sales consulting to help clients sell products and services that require education, established relationships, trust, multiple decision makers, channel partners, or other elements that can create a complex selling environment.