Sometimes we get lucky and there is a glaring difference in the features of our product, one that sets it apart. If we are really lucky it is one for which the customer feels justified in spending more. This is the part of the job that demonstrates either our professionalism or that we are just someone doing a three to five year detour into the world of sales.
We must first know our product. You would be surprised how many times customers will tell a salesman about a feature that is there (or missing) and it is NEWS to the salesperson. We are guilty of not reading the catalog we hand to the customer. There is really no excuse in being ignorant about the features of a product you are trying to sell. Manufacturers develop resources for your use. Your own company places a premium on your knowledge. Sales meetings, training blogs (like this one), podcasts on selling and other assets are at your disposal 24 hours a day.
The next part takes more work. You must also know your competition’s product. How else can you help (that is your job) the buyer make the right choice. You point out the ways your product is superior and the benefits of the features you offer. A lot of time the technology is pointed out but not the benefit and it is the benefit that will sway your customer. Take the following as an example.
Bluff manufactures an accessory item that can be bolted on to many of our boards and plates. We call it an EZ-Roll.
The item has heavy telescoping pipe and phenolic wheels and lots of things that make it a well designed addition to a great standard product. However, it is the benefit that it brings that will cause the buyer to consider it. It will allow one person (perhaps a small person) to put the dock board or dock plate in place without assistance and do it safely. That benefit may loom over all others in your customers mind.
If you do not know about it you cannot point it out. If you do not point it out, your customer will make his decision assuming that all products are equal.