What do you do when you don’t know the answer?

This question became apparent to me in a real way when I was in an electronics store recently.  I wanted something to “dock” my I-Phone so that I could listen to music (like an I-Pod) and eagerly anticipated getting some expert help and advice on what products make sense for an I-phone, the pro’s and con’s of various items, and what the store suggested. 

The manager escorted me to the most expensive product and then ushered one of his salesmen to continue helping me.  This salesman (possibly new to the job?) did not have any expertise on the products and every question we asked seemed to be the first experience he had in attempting to respond. 

His responses were not helpful at all and in fact his lack of assurance and confidence made for a rather frustrating experience  as my friends and I muddled along trying to figure things out for ourselves. Luckily, one of my friends is quite savvy with technology and he figured out what would make sense for me. 

The lesson? 
What do you do when you don’t know the answer?
How are you training your managers and staff members to field questions?
How are you making sure that the most anticipated questions that customers ask are taught in sales training programs? 

The bottom line – if you don’t train your sales people to first of all, know your products, and second, know how to answer customer’s questions- you are losing a sale. 

I did end up buying what I wanted – but this was despite the sales people’s help!