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How Well Do You Know Your Product?

March 23, 2017

One of the most misunderstood reasons as to why exhibitors fail to have a successful Trade Show, is that they are not able to convey the core message to a prospect when it comes to information regarding their product.

Prospects and would-be buyers are not influenced by your product, understand that your product is not the only one at the show, in fact yours is one of many. It is not unique.

One of the most misunderstood reasons as to why exhibitors fail to have a successful Trade Show, is that they are not able to convey the core message to a prospect when it comes to information regarding their product.

Prospects and would-be buyers are not influenced by your product, understand that your product is not the only one at the show, in fact yours is one of many. It is not unique.

What will influence your prospects is the interaction they receive when they get to your booth.

The product knowledge you and your staff share with prospects, is what ultimately enhances trust and eventually the loyalty to your product and brand. If you cannot deliver this product knowledge to your prospects, you might as well not have a product. This delivery of product knowledge is an integral part of the customer experience.

The Basic Facts

For you and your staff to deliver, there are a number of basic elements that you need to identify about your product, and there is no better way to do this than using the writing structures of Journalists.

WHO – WHAT – WHERE – WHEN – WHY – HOW

You will need to follow these steps because these are not only journalistic steps but also the steps taken by prospects when evaluating their needs, wants, and must haves. These simple topics are what we base most our questions on, and if that is the case it goes to follow that the answers need to based accordingly. Understand the following, prepare your answers, and you would have taken big steps in understanding your product.

WHO : This is very important because it is not only identifying your target market, but also your demographic. Who will be able to use it? Is it gender specific, or can anyone use it. Who will want to use it, you must remember that in all products there is a need, a want, and and an "I must have". Have you identified who is more likely to want, need, or "I must have" your product.

It is always very easy to assume that because you have been selling this product for some time you know the demographic of your buyers. This could be very wrong as studies have shown just on the age group alone one could be 15 years out. This could mean that your are targeting clients in their fifties, instead of sixty-five, or vice versa.

WHAT: Are there special benefits to the customer, are these benefits better or worse than that of your competition, and if there are differences, what are they, can you describe them? Can you make a list of benefits that are better than similar products. You must be able to differentiate these benefits, being monetary, ease of use, delivery, special warranties, secure payment facilities, and something else.

WHERE: Can you explain if this product is suited for one place and not another? Can you use it during the day and also at night, can it be used in all types of weather. Is it culturally universal. If there are places that your product is not recommended for use, you need to be able to explain why, if a client asks “can I take this with me to Vietnam” will you be able to answer that question. Do not forget that everything that you and your team take for granted, as general knowledge, this is not the case with your prospect. He or she does not know anything, they are there to find out and compare.

WHEN: This is also very important in getting to know your product. As in the above WHERE the prospect is trying to find out if there times when you cannot buy this product, due to seasonal issues. They will also want to know when the product is going to be available, if this is a launch of the product. You already know that your prospects are not going to ask questions that everybody knows. They will ask what is important to them. Set up a think tank with your staff members, and trouble shoot, what is likely to be asked of you and your product.

Make a list of all these questions and make sure that your team knows the answers, and most important that all the team members are trained to give the exact answer to the question, remember that if you did well in the first encounter, that prospect may visit you the second time, he may even ask the same question, getting a different answer will not give him confidence.

WHY: This is when your prospect starts asking for more detailed information. Why should I buy your product? Here you will find that the information you are required to pass on is more of a specific nature. Is it cheaper or more expensive than similar products, and why is it cheaper, or why is it more expensive. Do you have an answer if someone asks the question? You can be assured that the prospect is not going to be satisfied with an answer like “ because it's better” you will have to be more specific, and give details why and how your product is better. Is it handmade? Is it the new technology that you are using, or is it because it's made in a place that is renowned for its quality.

Once again make a list of all these reasons, and role play before you arrive at the trade show.

HOW: Here is where it starts getting personal. Your prospect needs to know how this item will be used. He or she needs to understand that they can use it because it is simple to use, or it requires special skills to use. If it is simple to use can you explain how simple it is, and if it is not that simple, can you go through some of the skills required and can you guarantee that the instructions manual that comes with your product explains the steps in such a way that you can verbalise the technique. Do you and your staff know how to use this product. There are many sales people that sell products, that have never seen what's inside of the packaging. This cannot happen at a Trade Show. Prospects want to use most of their senses, whilst learning about a product they are interested in.

Role play this with the staff that are going to be part of the team at the trade show so you can be sure you have all of the answers prepared.

Now there will be some that will argue that all this information is on the website, or on the brochures we are giving way at a great cost. Well let me tell you something that you already know. Most of those brochures will first go in a large plastic bag, and if it makes it home they will have a quick look, and 98% of it goes in the bin. The few that are kept are a result of remembering the person that took the time to explain the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, AND HOW.

As to the website issue most visitors have already looked at your website before they entered the trade show floor, so why did they visit your booth you think?

I hope I am not offending your senses by stating a lot that is obvious, but a lot of the obvious is forgotten when it comes to trade shows.

Apart from knowing your product you also need to know

WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHAT, AND HOW of your competition. We will discuss that soon.