Detect changes in your market really and act quickly

If your market changes and your customers have new problems they need to solve but you keep using the same selling methods, then it will be no surprise when your sales drop.

The selling methods you’ve used two years ago, three years ago, even five years ago may no longer work with new prospects. Your market is constantly changing; people face new problems, new wants, new tastes and new personal and business challenges.

Look at it this way: You have changed over the past few years; technology has changed, costs such as electricity and fuel have risen beyond predictions; the economy has been in a worldwide recession; bankers eroded trust in the financial system; large companies are squeezing suppliers and taking longer to pay.

In this constantly changing marketplace you can’t keep selling the same benefits to prospective customers. You have to get out there and speak to existing customers and prospects to find out their new problems and how they are dealing with them.

Find new markets for your product or service

Some businesses have resuscitated their sales by finding new uses for their products and services. These new uses have opened new markets for their products. Markets that are much larger and growing more rapidly than their traditional market.

Take Lucozade. In past decades if you were feeding ill, your mother would have given you a glass of Lucozade to help you recover. Lucozade was repositioned from a drink used for medicinal purposes to an energy drink for sports people (and partygoers). The market is huge and frequency of purchase is a lot higher.

Another product grew through a new use and opened a new market was Wilt-Pruf. It was originally used to prevent plants from wilting but gardeners soon cottoned on that it could also be used to protect plants from frost.

A third example: 4×4 vehicles. They originated for military use and in peacetime new markets opened for light industrial and commercial applications. Then came the much larger recreational market which uses 4 x 4s for outdoor adventures, fishing, diving and camping.

For your own products or services do some digging and find out other uses and benefits that you may have overlooked. Prepare a features and benefits chart. Simply draw a line halfway down your page. On the left side list features; on the right side list benefits. Make sure your benefits appeal to the basic buying motives such as self-preservation, financial gain, love, fear and desire for power and fame and so on. Craft these new benefits into your sales presentation.

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