Before you make you use any of these sales prospecting techniques on any potential prospect, you must first do your homework.

There are two things you must study:

1) Your potential prospects

2) Your product or service

Perhaps most importantly, you must understand how these two relate to one another.

In other words, you must understand what it is about your product or service that can help your prospect.

This is one of many sales prospecting techniques known as POSITIONING your product or service.

You cannot find good prospects if you do not know what you are selling them. So knowing your product is the first and most important part of these sales prospecting techniques.

You must understand how your product’s features can be positioned as a benefit to your prospect.

In Sales Prospecting, Too Much of the Wrong Kind of Product Knowledge Can Be a Bad Thing

All too often, salespeople think that the most important things to learn about their product or service are all the details.

But is knowing all those details really necessary to the sale or can it be detrimental – and even cause you to lose the sale.

We have accompanied very good salespeople on calls in which they spoke too much about the features of their product or service without first finding out what was important to their prospects.

They rattled on about features – typically without translating them into benefits even – until their prospects’ eyes glazed over.

For more on making sure that you avoid this pitfall, see the section on Translating Product Features Into Customer Solutions.

For even more on this topic, see the section on Never Answering An Unasked Question.

Be Honest About Your Product Knowledge

Of course, you should try to understand everything you can about your product or service. You are not just selling the product – you are also selling yourself as a trusted advisor – an expert on your product/service and the problems that it can solve for your prospect.

So early on when you start to sell any new product, learn as much as you can about it.

If you find yourself in a situation where a prospect asks you something about your product or service that you don’t know, simply and honestly admit that you don’t know it, acknowledge that it’s a good question, write it down and then get back to them with the answer promptly.

This tactic will help you build credibility with your client and show that you are interested in providing accurate answers to their questions instead of just dancing around and pretending to know something that could be very important to them – and lose the sale for you afterwards if you end up being wrong about it.

For more on sales prospecting techniques, see the Filtering section of the book, FEAR Selling.