ArticlesSales Management

The Product or the Sale

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This is a quandary not unlike the chicken or the egg question, "Which comes first?". Do you focus on creating a superior product and continue to develop superior products or do you shift focus from the product to the sale prior to fully developing the line, or schedule of services?

In the study of business start-ups there are a tremendous number of entrepreneurs who created, or found marvelous products and yet were unable to crack the marketplace. How many programs have you seen on TV that show warehouses of goods, that just sit and are never introduced to the consumer?

Without demand, there are no sales. Without sales, there is no success. It is easier to create for the sake of self-expression, than it is to find a way to effectively share the creation.

The current, most visible example of the power of marketing is the throng attracted to New York by "The Gates" in Central Park. Recent travelers, when asked why they are going to New York, invariably say they are going to see The Gates. But, once viewed, visitors and New Yorkers alike have said that they resemble short shower curtains the colour of pale Velveeta. Looking down from a plane or one of the tall buildings that surround Central Park, the saffron coloured winding trails bring to mind a flow of sorts that is totally lost when viewed from the ground, but people continued to flock to Manhattan in droves to see the work.

How to create your own buzz?.

1. Develop one core product with a great name.

2. Look around and see if there are other businesses or events you can attach your name to, to launch.

3. If not, write and send out your own Press Release.

4. Once you have started to court the Press, keep sending out Press Releases on a regular basis, but make sure you have something worth saying. It's often the perspective or the timing that works to capture the spotlight. Be merciless in your presistence but keep your sense of humour!

5. Call on your most successful competitors and see if they will share with you how they got started. They may even refer clients, if they have moved to the next level.

6. Call up a company you want to work with and ask them for their buying criteria. Make an appointment to go in and ask for their advice on your product/service.

7. Go big or go home! Don't hold yourself back through lack of confidence in your own sales ability. If you believe in the greatness of your product/service then call on businesses you know would benefit.

8. Don't get so excited by a positive response that you start to manufacture enormous amounts of product or make commitments to buy a large volume of supplies before you have a contract that guarantees a sale.

9. If someone recognizes the uniqueness of your product and sees the value of doing business with you, they will make a commitment. Make sure the terms you agree to are ones you can meet and still make money.

10. Your product/service does not have to be perfect. It just has to find it's niche and be marketed to that niche continually as it evolves.

The product may come first but if sales don't follow right away, don't give up. Persistence is a key element in any venture and marketing to a clearly defined niche makes it easier for your customer to find you.

Nancy Fraser is the President of Nota Bene Consulting. She has been helping clients improve their advertising results and grow their businesses for over 20 years. Free advertising and marketing information in Notable News

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