The Biggest Mistake You Make With Rural Product Training

 In Rural Marketing, Rural Strategy

Product training always dominates most training because there’s an innate safety in what you know, rather than what you don’t.

It’s far easier to be competent and confident about a product you can control than it is to be about a potential customer that you can’t.

A product doesn’t threaten you in the same way as a person. You are fearful about rejection but a product won’t reject you because you chose it, rather than it choosing you.

Furthermore, you see your product as extension of yourself as a rural sales person or business. It forms part of your own self-worth and identity, maybe even your own ego.

It’s on your side. It’s part of you and what you represent to the outside world so there’s a lot resting on it.

But the problem is this:

If you can’t sell the product that you’ve been trained on, despite how technical detailed that training was, the product training is a worthless waste of your time.

Product training at the very least has to be accompanied by sales training.

Becoming another droning “feature creature” won’t work.

Customers don’t buy products. They buy solutions to their specific problems. Specificity and granularity is key.

Product training is an internal action rather than the external one that looks will make you look at things outside-in, considering things from a customer’s point of view (ie. what they are thinking and feeling, walking a mile in their shoes, empathy and ethnography).

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How does your product compare to the competition?
  • What meaningful point of difference does it have (please don’t say price)?
  • What would make the customer pay more for it?
  • Can this product help us sell our other products (to create cross-sell opportunities)?
  • If they’re not using our product currently why not?
  • What product are they using instead and how effective is it in solving their specific problem?
  • How do we prevent potential product objections in our pre-sale?
  • What makes this product matter the most over all others?

You have to focus not only on the product but how you sell that product.

Instead of falling in love with your product (inwardly-focussed), you need to fall in love with your customer (outwardly-focussed).

Like we’re all reminded often, we need to be customer-centric, not product-centric because customers make businesses profit, not products.

This is why I’m recommending you commit as much investment and time into properly qualified rural sales training as you do with your technical product training.

The fact is you only make more money when you make more sales.

No product sells itself because someone or something has to buy it. No one sells till someone buys.

The two are not mutually exclusive. You can’t have one without the other.

Make sure you continue to make and take the time to train but make sure that training time is dedicated equally to sales training, not just product training.

You and your bottom line will be much better off for it.


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