When money is tight, buyers need the least risky solutions. They can’t afford to make a mistake.
And when it comes to anything with technology, buyers need the most understandable solutions. If they don’t understand the product or service, they will view it as too big a risk to sign on.
This is not surprising considering how much new technology and science is now built into most products and services today. And there’s much more on the way. The US News and World Report’s latest report of top careers shows why. Nearly every emerging job is in a narrow technical specialty that is exponentially creating knowledge that will need to be understood by untrained buyers.
Capable buyers know they must process technical information that’s flooding in from all sides. To do so they will need more interpreters, advisors and reconcilers who can instill confidence by comfortably explaining how a technical product meets a layman’s objectives.
But from where?
In business it seems there is a widening gap between those who can invent technology and those who buy the results of technology. Large corporations have historically dealt with this challenge by employing specialized staff who were technically educated, could communicate and sell product benefits, and then train a user in how to use them. These “sales engineers” could bridge the widening communications gap. They have always been in great demand.
In small businesses, smart business owners like you have usually served as your firm’s “sales engineer.” But you’ll never grow your business if you are the only sales engineer capable of explaining your product’s and service’s benefits to buyers.
Wrapped in that challenge is an opportunity. You can seize this opportunity if you find and train sales people to sell and communicate like you do – no, even better than you do. Your sales ability, product knowledge and confidence built your business and its success. Now it is time to pay your knowledge forward.
To profitably grow to the next level, you need to leverage your expertise and experience through your emerging employees. So take the cue of the sales engineer. Take your most empathetic people and enhance their grasp of your products. Or take your technicians who are friendly and communicate well and give them more opportunities to teach, train and sell. Invest in them; work with them. Chances are they won’t be perfectly trained overnight. They will stumble here and there. But then, you didn’t get to this point in your business overnight, either.
In an environment where more things are being bought by buyers only as needed, the best way to increase your sales and protect your margins is to sell your expertise and improve the experience of your customer. It’s how you convey value and differentiate your company from the competition.
But don’t literally be the only person in your company who can do this. There isn’t enough of you to go around. Teach your staff to do be able to convey benefits and demystify your products.