Sales is a really fun, yet tricky business. What I personally love most about being in sales is that it gives me the opportunity to give a customer what they want, build a relationship with them, and get paid for it! And it all happens from presenting them with a product and finding some way to make it appealing to them. Lots of business owners often add new products to their line in order to keep customers looking forward to something new. Depending upon the industry you’re in, new products can be the one thing that keeps your sales on a constant rise.
However, you may want to add more products, but don’t know where to start. You main goal is to only add the products that your customers would love and possible attract more customers. This article is going to give you a few guidelines to follow while choosing new products for your business. Let’s get started…
1. What do your competitors have? Sometimes your competitors get ahead of you because they are offering something to your potential customers that you aren’t offering. Find out what their winning products are. Visit their store (or have one of your employees do it), check out their website, and see what kind of customer service they provide. Sometimes a company’s biggest advantage isn’t their product, but the service.
2. What do your customers ask for? Ever have those customers that ask if you have something and you embarrassingly have to say no? An employer that I worked for in the past always said, “They always want what you don’t have.” But the employer can do something about that. You can simply start having what they ask for! There may be a pattern in what your customers are asking for. If so, start having those coveted items in stock.
3. Does it relate to what you already sell? I always think that it is best for a company to sell items that are in relation to each other so that customers can come in and buy a large amount of items at once-sort of like a package deal, to be exact. However, you can go rogue if you like. Your product collection can be as diverse as you want it to be. Having items that relate to one another is simply a sales tactic. But increasing sales should be the main go goal-so don’t rule it out.
4. Can you afford it? Adding new products to your collection will cost you a few dollars, so always be mindful of what it will cost you to create or buy it. Also, consider how much you will be selling it for. Will it make a decent profit? Only take the risk if it is worth the investment.
5. Do a little at a time. When you add new products, you want to start off with a small quantity so that you won’t blow a lot of cash. Just try it out at first to see if your customers like it. If so, they will be on demand and you will have no choice but to order more. Starting off with a small amount is the best way to introduce something new to a customer. Let them try it-then if they like it, they’ll want to buy more of it.
If for some reason the product isn’t selling, you will of course have to pull it from the shelves and discontinue it. However, if it does sell, you may find that there are some older items that weren’t selling well that you want to pull from the shelves. The idea for bringing in new products is ultimately to bring in new money and new customers-so go for it!
While owning a cosmetic business, I found that I was constantly brainstorming new product ideas to serve my customers. I personally had to consider all these tips through the process. Some of these great tips came from an excellent book called Marketing Masters: Secrets of America’s Best Companies by Gene Walden & Edmund O. Lawler.
For more resources, check out Pros and Cons of Expanding Your Product Line | Entrepreneur.com. Good luck on your business!