The most commonly asked question I receive is how do I sell a product. As a Sales Professional, I actually spend most of my time doing essential research and developing an awesome plan prior to spending a dime or effort on my sales and marketing efforts.
Creating a plan in advance can save you a tremendous amount of time, money and headache. And more importantly a quality sales plan will help you generate more revenue than you ever thought possible.
To help you get started, I've included three things to think about when you want to sell a product and create a revenue generating sales plan:
1) Who Really Needs Your Product
There is a big difference between someone really liking your product and someone who actually really needs it. This can be the difference between someone opening up their purse strings or not. Most product entrepreneurs tell me that nobody really 'needs' their product, but is that really true? The truth is that ALL of the money I've made in sales over the years have come from figuring out who really NEEDS my customer's products verses who just WANTS these products.
And I always take the time to really think this through. Sometimes it comes to me immediately; sometimes it comes to me many months later. But it is always worth the outcome. Why? Because I know that when I come up with that 'needy' customer, I will probably have no competition in that marketplace because my competitors probably haven't thought about that angle yet. And at the end of the day, this means more money for me.
Here's an example of 'needy' customers:
I have one student who invented an awesome cosmetic line for people who excessively sweat. Wouldn't this product be perfect for women going through menopause? Women with Menopause have such a hard time with hot flashes; this product could really solve an embarrassing problem!
Or what about the student that created a headphone that you can wear comfortably when you sleep. It's basically a soft cloth headband with headphones in it. Although this is perfect for people trying to sleep, wouldn't it also be great for people in cold regions such as New York, where people cover their ears and listen to music as well?
The possibilities are endless! Your goal is to come up with as many 'needy' potential customers as you can. If you really took the time to think this through, you'd realize that there might be several types of customers that actually NEED your product. And once you uncover them, then you are on your way to financial success!
2) Who Has Money to Buy Your Product?
Once you come up with a list of 'needy' customers, Try and narrow it down to those that have money to buy. And if not more money to buy, then a large enough audience that will give you the biggest return.
Let's use the example of my student with the headphones. Another possible customer that would need this product is people with sleeping disorders. Now this target market is huge, but unless I research and make sure that I know that there are enough places that sell products to people with sleeping disorders, then I will not start by focusing on this audience.
Why? Because mass retailers would probably love this item, especially as a holiday gift, and targeting these mass retailers first would probably make my student money more quickly.
Basically, all I'm trying to do is to figure out which audience to focus in on first, second, third, etc. And then develop a plan around this.
3) Develop Your Marketing Collateral Accordingly
Once you've outlined your plan as to who to focus on, the next step is to ensure that your marketing collateral and packaging is in alignment with this plan. If you are focusing on women with menopause, then you better explain all of the reasons why your product is perfect for this target audience! Having packaging that focuses on a general audience will not intrigue this potentially 'needy' audience!
4) Find These Customers Quickly
Now you need to figure out where these customers hang out. Where do they shop? What retailers sell to them today? Once you've done your research and put it in your plan, then you will be ready to go! If you want to sell to stores, contact the retail buyers immediately about your new product. Focus on the particular audience you want to help them sell to. The retail buyers will love that you've done your research. Especially since your product is relevant to their customer base. By doing this work in advance, you will be able to start selling your products today!