I used to work for someone who claimed proudly that he knew almost nothing about our product and he certainly wouldn’t use our products. He would even speak derogatorily of those who did. With pride he’d say, “I’m a businessman, I don’t need to know about a product to sell it.”
Of course there’s quite a parcel of truth in his arrogance: your estate agent didn’t live in your house before you bought it and Dr John Davis doesn’t really know what childbirth is like. But we all want our salespeople to be empathetic, don’t we? We demand advice and expertise and the only real way of gaining that is through experience.
Just how our teams communicate that to customers is as much a marketing issue as website copy or advertising budgets. And it might be worth reminding them that ‘do what I say, not what I do’ is even more unpalatable now than it was as a child. Would you take health advice from an obese, alcoholic, chain-smoker?