Sunday, June 1, 2008

Know Your Product Line

This article is for those people representing direct sales companies that manufacture more than a handful of products. When I speak to folks involved in network marketing, representing companies that do indeed manufacture more than a handful of products, I often ask them if they know their product line.

More often than not, I’ll get an answer of “I can’t afford to buy every product”, or “I don’t use every product”. These answers always strike me as odd as I never asked if all products were bought and used. What I did ask was whether they knew their product line.

It is very hard to sell and sponsor if you are not familiar with what you offer. For example, perhaps you sell a line of dietary supplements. Perhaps you only know about the daily multi vitamin product. Great product, you use it every day. However, you’ve just met Susan, a woman in her 50’s and she is looking for a product that truly addresses middle age and menopause. She has no interest in a daily multi vitamin. If you don’t know your product line, if you can’t tell Susan what you sell and why your product is worth buying, you just may lose her as a potential customer or potential distributor.

Perhaps you sell skincare and makeup products. While you wear makeup daily, you personally don’t use mascara. You’ve never worn it. Now I come to you and tell you my daughter is a swimmer and needs a product that will stay on. You tell me “oh we make a waterproof mascara”. When I ask you how chlorine affects the product, you truly don’t know. You’ve probably just lost the potential sale.

These are just two examples of companies that sell more than a handful of products. So, if you are not using the products, how can you know them?

I have several suggestions. As a team collect testimonials. When you work together as a team, there is a great chance that either a teammate or the customer of a teammate has used the product. Keep sheets of testimonials from each product your company sells. Store them in notebooks. When a potential customer asks about a product, you’ll have a full sheet or even 3 sheets of testimonials. And of course, the more you talk about a product, the more familiar you’ll become with it.

Save any and all literature the company puts out on a specific product. Again, should a potential customer ask about a product, you’ll have company generated information that often will answer the questions of a potential customer.

Ask questions yourself. If you do not see the information on the company website, and you don’t have the information from previous write-ups, contact the company and ask your questions. Be prepared when the potential customer comes to you with questions.

If you don’t use the product, find 5 people who want to use the product and sell it to them at your cost. The catch? They need to write you a testimonial. Or, offer to interview them for your next newsletter. What better marketing tool, than a current customer doing an entire interview on a product you yourself don’t use?

These are just a few suggestions on how you can get to know and sell a product you are not using.

Bottom line is you must know your product line in order to sell it.

Audrey :)

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