It is often easy to spot a new sales rep who is fresh out of training. They are usually very enthusiastic and passionate about their products—and often use superlatives when describing what they sell. However, I would contend that superlatives rarely belong in the sales conversation at all. It’s great that you as an individual believe that what you are selling is the best in class. You do need to have belief and conviction in what you are selling. But even the most diehard proponent of a product should be able to think of an occasion or circumstance when that product may not be the best solution.
Therefore, assuming you work for a reputable company that has great products, it is fair to say that there are times that those products would be the best choice and other times when an alternative may actually be just as good or perhaps an even better choice. That’s why we should avoid superlatives in most cases. It is much better and more accurate to say: “Our company offers product X. Other companies offer similar products and their products are good too. What you may be asking yourself is how our products are different and when do these differences actually matter? The differences matter when….” And then you can explain the niche that your product is just made for—where selecting your product makes great sense.
It helps to think of what you say in the context of how the listener feels upon hearing it. There can be subtle nuances that you may not realize that could sound bothersome to your customer. For example, when you say that your product X is the best, and if I use products Y and Z and only a little of X, you have told me (via inference) that what I am doing is not smart. Why am I not using more of X since it is vastly superior? This type of conversation does not usually lend itself to a great dialogue. When you (the sales person) are espousing these superlatives, it makes me (the customer) want to practice my passive listening skills…to have you think that I’m listening while my mind is on more serious (or just different) matters.
So yes, be passionate about what you sell. And wholeheartedly believe in its value. But allow for the possibility that there may be times that what you are selling is not the best solution. Your role is to help your customers understand their needs and wants and to see if there may be a fit for your great product. Be realistic in your approach and in your choice of words. Give your customer credit for understanding why an alternative to what you are selling may work better in a particular circumstance…and why your product may a good fit in a different area. That’s not only a better way to communicate it is a more certain way to gain credibility.