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Tip 2. Sell A Market, Not A Product

If you're going to be successful in business, sooner or later you’re going to have to "sell". I'm sure you know people who have fantastic products that for some reason don’t sell very well. Other people have seemingly useless products that generate amazing sales.

Why does this happen?

It’s more important to have a market that “buys” than it is to have a product that “sells”.

Everyday you're bombarded with advertising enticing you to buy. People are trying to sell you something that minutes before you were happy living without. Most of the time you filter the ads out, but occasionally you have no choice but to listen.

Everyone likes to buy but nobody wants to be sold.

Have you ever answered your front door only to find a sales rep trying to convince you to buy the latest gadget? How did you feel? I bet you couldn’t get rid of them quick enough. Why? Because you want to be in control of what and when you buy.

Compare this attitude to what happens when your favorite music artist or author puts out something new. You have to have it, whatever the cost. You heard about it via the grapevine - before any advertising and you're already "hungry".

It makes sense to always sell to a hungry market.

What you sell is not important, just who you sell to.

The best example I can give is a yo-yo. When I grew up everyone had to have a yo-yo. If you could do tricks then you were the coolest kid in the playground. Every shop and toy store sold them.

Now days, you probably couldn't give them away. The market is not hungry for yo-yos anymore.

Let’s look at electric cars. They seem like a great invention that should sell well. The problem is most people already have a $20,000 car that takes gas. They have no interest in electric cars. Maybe in the future, but right now people want new ways to make their existing cars, which are powered by fossil fuels, safer and more reliable. Here's an example of a great product with no market.

Now consider Microsoft. I have some computer friends who think there are better platforms than Windows. But Bill Gates is successful (at least monetarily) because he has established a hungry market that buys. Every time he releases another version of "Windows", he has to make money. In fact, Microsoft has not only created the market; it determines how and when it feeds.

How will the Internet impact sales? The World Wide Web is littered with plenty of sites selling product. But successful sites don't sell, they try to capture a market direction and then establish what the market wants to buy. The final step is to create a product.

Don't create a product and then try and sell it. Ask the market what it wants and then provide it.

What sort of person do you think McDonalds should market to? Middle age? Middle income earner? Parents with children? The answer is it doesn't matter - so long as they're hungry!

Steps For Immediate Results.

  1. What are your businesses best and worst selling products or services?
  2. Identify the different target for products/services you identified in point 1 above. Examples of how to differentiate include age, income and gender. Think about things that would be attractive to each market segment. For example, if you were selling to elderly people, what product or service features would make your item attractive to buy? Always try to put yourself in the buyer's shoes.
  3. Work out strategies to keep or make the market hungry for your products. One of the best ways you can do this is to make it easy and convenient for customers to buy. An example of a strategy to keep your market hungry is to create a "frequent buyer" program, similar to the airline programs where the more you buy, the better deal you get.



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