Creating a new and innovative product is exciting, but it’s not without its challenges. One of the most difficult aspects of marketing an original product is convincing your target audience why they need it. Many businesses throughout history have prevailed in this effort, but even more have failed. Here’s what you need to know about selling new and unique products to your customers successfully.
Know the Product Inside and Out
Have you ever been in a sales interaction where you felt that you knew more than the salesperson? This might happen at an auto dealership, appliance wholesaler, or virtually anywhere you make a purchase. It’s also a red flag to a consumer.
If you’re marketing and selling a new or novel product, there’s no room for error. You must be prepared to answer any question and speak intelligently about every aspect of the product you’re selling. As a sales professional, it’s your job to be the expert and to tell people exactly how the product can help serve the customer.
Know Your Customer
You’ll also need to know to whom you’re selling your product. Define your market as accurately as possible. For example, your target market might not be Millennials, but Millennial moms with children under the age of 5. The more accurate your market, the better you’ll be able to target your efforts and learn about what makes your target market tick.
Once you really know your customer, you can develop a sales plan. These are comprised of several parts, including:
- Sales goals. Specific, measureable sales goals will help you stay on track. A good example of a sales goal might be selling 50 units within the first 30 days, not simply “selling a million units.”
- Channels. Are you going to sell directly to the consumer, or do you plan on partnering with local retail stores?
- Timelines. Take these pieces and put them together in a timeline that’s realistic and manageable. In an ideal situation, these timelines are flexible – for example, if you’re struggling to meet one sales goal, you can take corrective action and move the timeline back.
Selling a new product may be exciting, but it’s also not easy. You face an uphill battle in helping customers understand the value in your product and how it will improve their lives and in meeting several quotas. With clearly defined goals and a strong knowledge foundation, however, you can win customers over and help them see what they’ve been missing all along.