How Much is Too Much? The Do’s and Don’ts of Product Knowledge.

Posted on: October 2nd, 2014 by Rob Baumhover


As HME retailers, it’s our job to ensure we have the knowledge and expertise to answer any and all questions our customers have about the uses, benefits, features, and comparisons of the products we sell. Many times, a customer will know the specific type of product they are looking for, but are unsure which brand, style, or size to get, or even what features they really need or want. It’s our job to assist our customers by helping them make the right purchase for their unique needs.

The trouble comes in knowing how to walk the fine line between being helpful and knowledgeable, and being overwhelming to the point of pushing customers away.

Here are our top Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to handling product knowledge. Learn how to find the sweet spot, so you and your customer service team can provide your customers with the perfect amount of information to allow them to make the right purchase decision every time!

Product Knowledge Don’ts:

     1. Don’t rattle off everything you know about a product the second a customer starts looking at it.

Take your time. Rushing into a ‘spiel’ about the first product a customer glances at will likely scare your customer away and give the impression you are only out to make a sale. Try to develop a conversation around the product. The customer will naturally ask questions, which you can provide expert and informed answers to.

     2. Don’t provide information that’s not relevant to the customer and their needs.

Again, discussing product specifications that are beyond the scope of the customer’s needs can make you seem aggressive, and can push customers away. Ask questions, learn what the customer’s needs are, and provide information accordingly.

     3. Don’t sound like you are reading from a product brochure.

Although you may need to memorize information from a product catalog in order to remember it, try to make your knowledge sound as natural and relaxed as possible by adding it to the natural flow of the conversation.

Product Knowledge Do’s:

     1. Do ensure your entire team is fully informed about all the products you carry:

You’ll want to be able to answer any question a customer has with complete accuracy and confidence. One way to ensure this is by testing the products yourself. There’s no better or more trustworthy information source than someone who has firsthand experience with the product.

     2. Do pay attention to your customer’s body language:

Reading a customer’s reactions can mean the difference between coming off too aggressively, and making the sale. If a customer is facing you directly when you’re speaking, and is asking questions, it’s safe to say they’re interested and attentive. Conversely, if a customer is turned away and doesn’t seem interested anymore, it’s probably time to give them space to make their decision.

     3. Do give customers take-home literature:

Sometimes customers can be overwhelmed with the options available to them and need extra time to contemplate their decision. Have informational pieces available for them to take home and help with their purchasing decision. Contact product vendors and manufacturers to see if they have brochures, flyers, or pamphlets with information about their products available for you to give away in your store.