By Henry Brown
Consumers in the U.S. are creatures of habit. They buy the same 150 products or so over and over again and never seem to get bored.
It’s one of the many reasons why small businesses trying to sell a product can find it hard. They have to somehow break people’s spending habits and entice them to try a new product for the first time. The task therefore is to try to build new, loyal customers.
Here are some simple steps for selling your product.
Don’t be shy
Every small business needs to make itself heard in a crowded, bustling marketplace. Being shy about what you have to offer will get you nowhere.
Right from the start be clear about what it is that your company has to offer. Let people know what makes your product unique. Broadcast the fact that what you offer is more reliable, safer, more convenient or more robust.
So long as there is a need in the marketplace you can make the most mundane of products stand out. It’s all about fulfilling customer needs in an exciting and unusual way. Perhaps you could package your product in beautifully branded pouches. Or maybe you could hold a free event when people get to sample your product.
Don’t create work for the customer
One of the biggest complaints that customers have about moving to new products is the work involved. In fact, having to do work to use a product is usually the largest customer experience issue small businesses face.
To sell their product, small businesses need to reduce the amount of work that their clients have to do. That means thinking carefully about how customers might transition from an older product. For most products, this is simple. But for things like IT systems, it can be a real hassle. Minimizing this hassle is the key to selling success.
Products should work out of the box
Jokes about stressed dads looking at complicated instruction manuals have become a part of our culture. But it should never have ended up this way. Customers shouldn’t have to spend hours pouring over instructions to get a product to work. So far as is possible, it should work right out of the box.
If you’re seling hoses, come up with a way to prevent annoying kinks from forming. If you’re selling kid’s toys, make sure that assembling them is straightforward.
Let your customers try out what you sell
One of the problems customers have with any new product is that they don’t know whether their money is well spent. In other words, they have no idea what to expect from your product.
That’s why letting customers try out your product is such a good idea. They’ll be able to feel its value. You can offer a trial period to clients or maybe a free sample. Or perhaps you could offer a free consultation, depending on what it is that your business is selling. Allowing customers to play with your product builds up trust and makes it easier for them to make a purchase decision.
Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop he’s roaming the streets of London; uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.