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How to Sell and Explain a New Product to Your Customer

Explaining a new product to a customer doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are three tips to help you explain it and get the sale.

Imagine describing a smartphone to someone from the 80s. Then picture yourself explaining Siri or TikTok, or just the concept of an app. Can you see the bafflement on their faces? The astonishment that such a thing could exist? Their effort to understand how it might be incorporated into their lives?

In small business marketing, describing a new product to a customer can present a similar challenge. It’s the ultimate test of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. And being able to communicate the impact a product might have on their lives with clarity, respect and authenticity is critical. Customers don’t want to feel confused or like they’re missing the point. And they don’t want to be alienated by a brand they’ve been loyal to.

Our State of the Connected Customer Report Fifth Edition highlights just how important these interactions with customers are.

Discover the trends shaping the future of customer engagement

Insights from 14,300 consumers and
business buyers on how AI, digital
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This means the techniques for teaching a market about a new offering have to be even more sophisticated — and authentic. It’s the key to ensuring successful small business customer relationship management. 

Here are some tactics for creatively engaging customers with your message that connects and sells.

1. Explain your product like you would your job

You’ve probably streamlined your response to the “And what do you do?” question that crops up at every extended family gathering and first dates. 

Apply the same mindset and approach when describing a complex product to your customer. Bear in mind that, just like the cousin who only sees you every couple of years, your customer doesn’t have the same knowledge as you. 

Consider their perspective and explain your product in simple terms. Keep it straightforward. Breakdown the features of the product and help them feel smarter about how they might use it. Above all else, emphasise how your product can help your customers to solve a pressing problem they’re facing.

Taking the time to understand your customers’ unique pain points will go a long way in building authenticity, trust and empathy in your relationship. Having greater insight into your customers’ needs will help you to not only meet, but exceed, their expectations.

96% of customers say excellent customer service builds trust.

Learn more in the State of the Connected Customer Report.

Salesforce’s Customer 360 equips marketing, sales, commerce, service and IT teams with real-time data about all customers so that every employee can deliver excellent customer service tailored to each individual’s needs.

This software suite has delivered impressive results, with a 32% increase in customer satisfaction and a 30% increase in customer retention. 

The advantage of replacing siloed customer data and fragmented systems with an integrated CRM is also highlighted in the Small to Medium Business Efficiency Toolkit. When employees have a unified and detailed view of their customers, it enables better decision-making and cuts down the time they need to spend on sharing information across departments.

Ultimately, it enables a business to better serve its customers, and when a customer has a positive experience, they’re far more likely to stick with your product and recommend your brand to others.

2. Leverage your marketing tools

Zip back to the 80s again for a moment: remember those choose-your-own-adventure books where you could pick different ways to end the story? This is similar, except you’re offering different ways for your customers to learn about a product.

For some customers, a comprehensive brochure will do the trick. Some might respond to an audio walkthrough in the form of a podcast. Others will do better with an infographic or a video explainer.

Often hearing from a customer – someone like themselves – about their experience of the product can also be an effective way of bringing the product to life. 

Expr3ss!, an AI recruitment software company that applies predictive hiring algorithms to help companies find the right talent, features a series of videos from customers on its website. These highlight the significant benefits that Expr3ss! can deliver, including time savings, reduced employee turnover and lowered administrative time. 
Other customers might use several different types of media as part of the learning process, particularly if they’re responsible for explaining it to their coworkers or boss.

3. Use metaphors to make your product familiar

Most people don’t understand how software applications run in a data centre. The vivid metaphor of the cloud, one used by Salesforce and many other companies, gives them access to a complex idea in a powerful way. Something that would otherwise seem completely foreign, is suddenly made familiar.

A successful metaphor can precipitate huge leaps in understanding. Deceptively simple, they can transform an idea from bewildering to comprehensible. Clever use of a savvy metaphor will give your customer their “A-ha!” moment. As True Alliance’s Ken Kennedy says, it’s all a matter of putting yourself in the customer’s mindset

“We’re all consumers at the end of the day. I shop online and in stores. As a marketer, my best advice is to put yourself in the shoes of a consumer and say: What shopping experience do I want, both in store and online? Do they know who I am, what I purchased and what I am interested in?” 

Imagine what they’ll use the product for and how you can relate that to something they are familiar with – a creature, a landscape or weather feature, a tool, an action. Use the metaphor consistently in your messaging. 

Think, for example, of the symbols used so successfully and often that we barely notice them: an old school camera for Instagram, a speech bubble for messaging, an old style phone for your smartphone call option, an envelope for email, a trolley for online carts. Even your customer from the 1980s could get their head around these familiar icons. 

A good imagination and the ability to walk in your customers shoes will go a long way to helping you master the art of selling new products. Start with these three tactics for an authentic and vivid approach to inviting your customers into a world where your product description sells itself.

Learn the new standards of customer engagement.

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