Know Your Product
Know Your Product
By Sandy Hurtado
Know your product — it’s a simple concept but a lot of people think they just need to know the items that they sell. Really knowing your product requires effort, time, and a thirst for knowledge about everything having to do with your product, including your competitor’s products. In my case, I decided to take on my new business by learning everything about denim and fashion.
When I joined Vault Denim as an Independent Fashion Consultant I was not a practicing fashionista, as they say. Even though I have always loved looking at fashion, I was restricted by budget and motherly commitments so I never put the effort in becoming better in the style area. I have been a jeans wearer my entire life, I practically lived in them, and was sick of the cheap and unflattering duds I was sporting all the time. After joining the direct sales world with Vault Denim, I delved deeper and deeper into my product to learn that there is a lot more to denim than blue jeans. And so began my journey into knowledge and becoming an expert in my field. Today I will share with you some places where you can gain more knowledge and why it is important!
Side note: A lot of the information here could run over into marketing and branding but for the sake of staying focused, I’m going to stick mostly to the research portion of the topic.
Google Alerts. Set up a few Google alerts to get a daily email when topics of interest to your product come up in internet searches. Be careful not to set up too many alerts because they can become cumbersome if you do not keep up. Make sure you utilize quotations if you need a specific phrase, such as “purple pansies” instead of individual words, purple and pansies. Take some time to go through your Google Alerts each day to weed out the irrelevant and find the good stories to share! I think this is the best way to keep on top of what is trending each day and I have had a lot of success by using them.
Twitter. I do not know the statistics but my hunch is that Twitter is not as popular with the everyday people as it is with celebrities and businesses but it is an excellent source of information! Set up a Twitter account and follow people/companies with interests or products similar to yours! Don’t be afraid to follow your competition, as well. This is a good way to hit sources of information that would not necessarily come up in a Google search.
Pinterest. Contrary to what you may believe or seem possible, Pinterest can be a great place to find information but you may have to be creative. Use Pinterest to find out what people are interested in, what they need, and what they are looking for! It is your job to determine what your customers need and how your product will help meet that need. Repin relevant information to your own categorized boards to share with your followers. By doing so, you are able to learn current trends in culture so you can share the valuable knowledge with your customers.
Here! (And other industry blogs). The world of direct sales has changed dramatically in recent years due to the internet. Blogs are some of the best sources of information out there now, especially for all things pop culture… that is where your product comes in. Industry blogs related to MLM or direct sales are also a great way to learn about what it means to work as an independent consultant and innovative methods of running your business. You are on the right track by reading this blog today!
Other Consultants. Some direct sales companies are very competitive but to the detriment of the greater good! Working in direct sales is hard work. Get together with other consultants, in your company and others! Work together and share information about upcoming events. Share your product knowledge and gleam knowledge from others. Everyone works and processes a little bit differently, but we can learn from and support each other! Even though you may be completely satisfied with your processes as they stand today, that does not mean that you cannot make a slight altercation picked up from another consultant which might make your life just a little bit more convenient.
Last of all! Make sure you share your information! Be a good Pinterest user and repin information that you find through other users; it is important to give credit where credit is due. Link all your social media platforms together so your pins on Pinterest will show on your twitter and facebook and so on and so forth. Retweet relevant tweets you find on Twitter (sometimes not-so-relevant tweets are good too). Check out a social media manager such as hootsuite so you can schedule when your information goes out and to which platforms. Sharing the information that you learn is a phenomenal way to get your name out there! Becoming an expert in your field helps your customers find and trust you.
Sandy Hurtado is an Independent Fashion Consultant for Vault Denim, fibi & clo Fashion Agent and Mommy with a thirst for knowledge and passion for denim!