Selling Requires More Than Product Knowledge

Sales are made here.

Successful selling is a transfer of enthusiasm, not a transfer of product knowledge.

So says Sam Dantzler, keynote speaker at last week’s IBD Summit in Tempe, Arizona. He is a sales trainer for the powersports and marine industries, and also plans to enter the bicycle industry this year with a web-based staff training program.

Dantzler’s bluntly-titled presentation “Discounts Suck. Loyalty Rocks” described the importance of relationships in the sales process to reduce discounting pressures, “moving away from product descriptions and into human connection.”

He used the example of Harley-Davidson, a motorcycle that is not the most reliable, not the cheapest, and not the best performer. But it has a following that far surpasses other motorcycle brands.

“Harley built emotion into their brand,” Dantzler said. “In a need-based industry, purchasing is more based on logic. But in want-based industries like motorcycles or bicycles, it’s an emotional buy. So don’t try to attack this logically. Be emotional.”

He compared a “dive bar” experience to a high-end martini bar. The specs of the product may be very similar, but the setting and the presentation at the martini bar allow it to command much higher prices, and for the consumer to have a much better experience.
Apple vs. Samsung is another example. Apple has done an excellent job appealing to peoples’ emotions to command a premium price. Samsung phones, often with superior specs, appeal more to logic.

“Do you want to be a Nordstrom or a Wal Mart?” Dantzler asked. “Neither one is inherently bad, but you have to choose one. You can’t be both. If you want to Continue reading “Selling Requires More Than Product Knowledge”