My Customer Knows More Than I Do!
I have recently embarked on that wonderfully delightful journey known as car shopping. I haven't bought a new car in about 10 years or so, but I recently decided to give it a shot. Things have changed so much with cars and the technology in them, that I have had to spend a fair amount of time doing research. I have trolled many of the car buying websites from Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, Car and Driver, and Consumer reports, and many more. I have spent way too much time on the various manufacturer websites as well. Needless to say, do this for enough time and you get pretty well informed about the various cars.
Now this brings me to my topic about product knowledge. I don't pretend to know a lot about the various automobiles on sale, but I do expect the salesperson who is showing me the car to know about it. A few sales reps I have met have been pretty well informed and one had strength enough of character to admit when she didn't know the answer to say so! Even more amazing, she offered to check with someone else to get the answer. Unfortunately, she was the exception rather than the rule. Too many sales reps I met with would give me wrong information (at least it didn't agree with what the manufacturer website claimed) or they just quickly answered any question with a response they thought I would want to hear.
Me: "Is the engine supposed to idle at 2,000 RPM?"
Car Guy: "Oh yeah. They all do that now."
Me: (thinking to myself) "Sure they do."
Product knowledge, being straightforward with your customer, honesty, integrity...these are all important in any sales situation. If you try to fake your way through it, you never know when your customer already knows the answer and is testing to see if you are worth their time and money. Do your homework and shoot straight with your customer. Admit it when you don't have the answer. They'll trust you more.