Professional Distributor - 38

Giga-what?

Selling technical products to non-technical customers.

W
BY ALAN SIPE
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
Alan W. Sipe has spent the last 42
years in the basic hand tool industry
including positions as president of
KNIPEX Tools North America, senior
vice president of sales and marketing at Klein Tools, manager of special
markets at Stanley Tools, and sales
manager at toolbox manufacturer
Waterloo Industries. Currently, Sipe
is the owner of Toolbox Sales and
Consulting, a company specializing
in sales strategy, structure, development, and training. Sipe can be
reached at alansipe@gmail.com or
847-910-1063.

e have all likely had a discussion with
a doctor, lawyer, banker, or insurance
agent and at the end had no idea what
they were talking about. If it was a salesperson
you were listening to, you most likely did not buy
what they were selling.
I don't know if it is our natural desire not to
appear uneducated or just foolish pride, but in most
cases, we act like we understand instead of demanding an explanation in terms that make sense to us. To
make matters worse, many of us will even shake our
head up and down giving the speaker the impression
we understand what they are telling us.
For example...
Situation 1
You're in the emergency room and after what seems
like an eternity the doctor approaches you and says,
"You have a comminuted torsional high-impact Colles trauma of the distal radius. The nurse will be
with you shortly."
The doctor then leaves you sitting there stunned
and thinking, "What did he say? Is it terminal? Am
I going to die?"
The nurse finally comes in and you ask what is
really wrong with you. "Oh, you just twisted your
wrist and broke it," she says. "We'll cast it, and in
five to six weeks you'll be fine."
Now you feel a lot better, but you keep asking
yourself why the doctor didn't tell you this in a way
you could understand.
Situation 2
You have taken your laptop into a computer repair
shop and the diagnosis comes back that your CPU
has a problem with its cache, which is causing a
hard drive indexing problem. This unexplainable
phenomenon is common with legacy versions of
your OS, which does not allow you to complete URL
address connections. You respond with a "thank
you," having no idea what the computer repair
technician just said. In other words, your PC will
not connect to the internet because it is using old
software, and you should probably buy a new one.
Here are some interesting terms I picked out
of previous editions of Professional Distributor. Are

38 Professional Distributor I April 2020 I VehicleServicePros.com

you 100 percent sure you know what they mean?
* ADAS upgrade application ready
*	 Advanced coding adaptations
*	 JVCI/ECU Programmer
*	 QC3.0 Quick-charge
*	 Telematics solution
*	 Rapid load response technology
*	 1.3GHZ -1.7GHZ Hexacore processor
None of these words and phrases are bad in any
way. They were created by well-meaning product
managers or marketing people and are designed to
make their product sound cool, up-to-date, and different than the competition. However, when used
without explanation they can confuse an already
confused potential buyer.
In the selling world of a mobile jobber, your customers are young, old, and everywhere in between.
Some are highly educated, some are barely educated,
and all are educated in the school of hard knocks.
If your customer is young you may automatically
assume they are technically adept, and if they are
older you may assume they don't know the difference between a megabyte and a TPMS. You may
be correct in some cases, but the issue is you don't
know what they do or do not know. This leads to
misunderstanding, miscommunication, misrepresentation, and most often a missed sale.
Your best bet to improve your success rate in
selling technical products is to assume your prospect knows nothing, understands less, and needs to
be spoon-fed your product information. I am not
implying in any way that vehicle technicians are as
dumb as a lug wrench; the exact opposite is true.
But when selling a technical product, you will do
better starting off slowly and clearly explaining every
feature, advantage, and benefit as you go through
your demonstration. As you do your trial closes, you
will begin to get an idea of how much your prospect
understands and just how technically advanced they
are or are not.
Ask a lot of questions about how your prospect
will use this tool and how it will help them. This
will also help you understand how well they are
understanding and buying into what you are selling.
If they ask how well your super-duper vacuum pump


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Professional Distributor

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Professional Distributor

Editor's Note: Customer relations in good times and bad
Aftermarket Profile: A statistical snapshot of purchasing plans and top revenue opportunities for shops in the coming year
Aftermarket Profile: Purchasing Information
Aftermarket Profile: Diagnostics
Aftermarket Profile: Training
Most Wanted
Sneak Peek
Go Sell Something: How to sell high-tech products to less technically-minded customers
In Focus Products
Driving Sales: Diagnostic Test Equipment
Tales from the Road: Mac Tools distributor Jeff Mitchell hosts customer apperciation events to thank his customers
Professional Distributor - 1
Professional Distributor - 2
Professional Distributor - 3
Professional Distributor - Editor's Note: Customer relations in good times and bad
Professional Distributor - 5
Professional Distributor - Aftermarket Profile: A statistical snapshot of purchasing plans and top revenue opportunities for shops in the coming year
Professional Distributor - 7
Professional Distributor - 8
Professional Distributor - 9
Professional Distributor - Aftermarket Profile: Purchasing Information
Professional Distributor - 11
Professional Distributor - 12
Professional Distributor - 13
Professional Distributor - Aftermarket Profile: Diagnostics
Professional Distributor - 15
Professional Distributor - 16
Professional Distributor - 17
Professional Distributor - 18
Professional Distributor - 19
Professional Distributor - Aftermarket Profile: Training
Professional Distributor - 21
Professional Distributor - 22
Professional Distributor - 23
Professional Distributor - 24
Professional Distributor - 25
Professional Distributor - Most Wanted
Professional Distributor - 27
Professional Distributor - Sneak Peek
Professional Distributor - 29
Professional Distributor - 30
Professional Distributor - 31
Professional Distributor - 32
Professional Distributor - 33
Professional Distributor - 34
Professional Distributor - 35
Professional Distributor - 36
Professional Distributor - 37
Professional Distributor - Go Sell Something: How to sell high-tech products to less technically-minded customers
Professional Distributor - 39
Professional Distributor - In Focus Products
Professional Distributor - 41
Professional Distributor - 42
Professional Distributor - 43
Professional Distributor - Driving Sales: Diagnostic Test Equipment
Professional Distributor - 45
Professional Distributor - 46
Professional Distributor - 47
Professional Distributor - 48
Professional Distributor - 49
Professional Distributor - Tales from the Road: Mac Tools distributor Jeff Mitchell hosts customer apperciation events to thank his customers
Professional Distributor - 51
Professional Distributor - 52
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