Does your sales team use the product they are selling?

sales performance
Do you ask your sales team to use your product? It only makes sense if you are selling Ford trucks that you drive a Ford truck (not a Dodge Ram).  If you work for Budweiser, you don’t drink Coors.
I just returned home from the national finals rodeo in Las Vegas where I met Chris who works for Ariat Boots.   She has a great attitude, and I’m assuming is outstanding in her field.  I asked her, “Chris, how did you get this job?” Chris answered, “I applied, interviewed, job shadowed, and they offered me the position.” 
By the way, if you work at a cowboy boots store during the two-week National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, you need a great staff.  Chris told me the lone requirement for working during the National Finals Rodeo: wearing Ariat boots.  No other boots or brands (that also make cowboy boots) will do.  In other words, Chris cannot wear a cowboy shirt that says Tony Lama boots.    We tend to successfully sell the products that we use, know and understand.  Ask your sales team to use your product.
The best way for me to measure customer service at a restaurant is by watching and questioning the wait staff.  When I ask a good server what the key to great customer service is, nine out of ten tell me, “You must know the menu inside and out.”  The answer seems very simple.  However, most employees and sales team members don’t know the menu inside and out.  During a visit to a local steak house, I asked the waitress for the preferred cut of beef, and she promptly told me she doesn’t eat meat.  I had the same experience at a seafood house when I was again told, “I’m not much for seafood.”  It doesn’t speak well of a restaurant when your own employees don’t eat there.
Help your sales team to own the product.
Make sure everyone on the staff knows the menu and, if possible, has tried everything on it.  They should also know additional menu items or wine suggestions to compliment any order—this is called upselling.
Using and knowing your product doesn’t pertain solely to the food industry.  If your staff isn’t using your product–or worse yet, doesn’t believe in it–they shouldn’t be selling for you. What if your business is selling Ford trucks and none of your sales staff drives a Ford? They are not actually working for you.
The number one key to selling is believing in yourself and believing in your product.  One out of two is not good enough to win!
I’ve interviewed more than 2,200 candidates in the last 15 years of sales coaching and consulting. Two days ago, I had a candidate tell me he doesn’t read books.  He’s no longer a candidate. Your staff must not only be trained on the product, they must use it too.
Sell it to your sales team first.  Have your sales team sample the product, teach them about it and help them own it.  For the record, if the waiter doesn’t know the menu, the salesman doesn’t drive the product or the broker uses a different bank, I will not be a return customer and you shouldn’t be either.
An easy test for your sales team at tomorrow morning’s meeting:  Ask them about the product they are selling with a quiz, and make sure you add a product to the quiz you do not sell.  That’s the quickest way to find out if they’re using their own product.
In case you are wondering, Chris wears Ariat boots and she loves to sell them.
The number one key to selling is believing in yourself AND believing in your product.