Selling new products always presents a challenge, especially if the product is something customers have never heard of and can’t imagine that they would need. The 3D printer is a good example of this. Although the product has existed for nearly 40 years, it wasn’t until early in this decade that people began to seriously consider purchasing it. Manufacturers made the 3D printers smaller, less expensive, and able to produce higher quality printouts.
While this demonstrates that it’s never too late to get people interested in a product, it also shows that many things went wrong during the initial product launch. It’s a lesson for today’s salespeople that they must go about their jobs differently with new products than products they sell routinely and that their clients are accustomed to using. Sales managers also need to learn better strategies for teaching their teams to sell new products.
Tips for Sales Managers
If a local leader will lend his or her name to the new product, it can increase credibility from the start. This should take place well ahead of the product launch date. In-depth training should happen in advance as well. Training that includes someone acting in the role of a prospective customer hearing about the product for the first time is especially useful. Preferably, there should be someone acting in the role of customer for every industry salespeople will approach.
Ensuring that the sales staff feels excited about what they will soon be selling is also essential to success. Managers may want to consider establishing a training program and contest to generate excitement and build familiarity with how to sell a new product. Simulating a live environment presentation helps sales reps get more comfortable being uncomfortable when preparing and delivering pitches.
Tips for Sales Agents Selling New Products
Before approaching any prospect, the salesperson should consider whether this product fills a specific need. That means understanding the customer’s pain points in advance and firmly believing that he or she has the solution for at least some of them. No customer is going to buy simply because a sales representative needs to sell something. It must meet a deep need that no one else can meet. Knowing the benefits are important but understanding how they will improve the prospect’s life is key to closing a deal.
Understanding the market and the competition is equally critical for sales success. Even with new products, it’s a mistake to assume that no one else is selling the same thing. A competitor in another state could be selling it online at a lower price or with a free shipping offer. This is crucial knowledge to have before making a value proposition to the customer.
Technology vs. How the Product Makes the Customer Feel
Although people want products that have advanced technological features, discussing technology often makes them feel overwhelmed. They’re more focused on how using the product makes them feel and what it can do for them. Salespeople who can tell relatable stories of how they or others felt when using the product will capture the prospect’s attention to a greater than degree than simply listing benefits. The prospect needs to understand that he or she won’t be able to achieve a specific feeling or accomplishment without investing in the new product.