10 Steps to Bring a Product to Market – Start Your Own Company
There are a variety of sales methods you can use. Sales agents can sell for you, you can sell through mail order catalogs, you can sell through distributors or countless other sales techniques. Your product will not be suitable for many sales options and being an inventor-run company will disqualify you from others, at least initially. You must choose a distribution option that you can support with customer service, is open to new products and can be impacted by a small sales force. You may have already chosen which path to take in your market introduction plan and now is the time to contact the sales agents or distributors that you want to pursue. Remember that distributors can be wary of small companies and may wait for you to call four or five times before they consider your idea. They want to see you have staying power so let them know you are committed and are not going away.
Some of the strategies and tactics you might, among hundreds or others, you want to consider are:
- Your sales organization
- Selling Direct
- Selling through Reps
- Sales through the Internet
- Your distribution channel
- Straight to customers or retailers
- Through distributors
- Other distribution channels
- Partners with complementary products
Points to Know About Sales Reps
A common inventor strategy to start with is selling through reps
- They want to be sure they can make at least $10,000 a year;
- They will want an exclusive in their territory for the markets they serve;
- For most consumer products they will want a commission of 10 to 12%;
- Reps consider their customers to be the keys to their business, so you must realize that the reps will take the customers side on most issues;
- If reps aren’t being successful with your product they won’t spend time on it. You need to be prepared to change reps when they don’t produce revenue for you.
Inventors – Generating Interest
Whether you develop you own list of reps, (http://onestopinventionshop.net/blog/2011/02/setting-up-a-sales-rep-network/) or buy a rep list (one stop invention shop has a large number of rep lists for sale -http://onestopinventionshop.net/books/sales-reps/) you have to start by getting the reps interest. Often, even reps in your area, or reps recommended by retailers in your area will ask for some information prior to talking further with you. The best way to respond is through email. But don’t load the email up with a lot of attachments. Instead put everything in the body of the email. Remember your goal in the first email is not to sell the rep on the idea of carrying the product, the goal is just to get them to talk further with you. I found the short simple email gets you the best results. Try to cut down the file size of all the pictures so that the email opens as quickly as possible.
Your email should include:
- A short statement that you have a new product and that you are looking for reps to sell into a market, state what you market is;
- A picture of the product, outside the package in use if possible;
- A picture of the product in its packaging;
- A picture of the product on the store shelves;
- The product’s suggested retail price;
- A short list of the products benefits;
- A list of major sales achievements to date;
- A statement that if the reps would like to know more or would like to receive a product sample to call or email you if the reps would like to know more or would like to receive a product sample.
Inventors – Start Selling
Running your business will take a lot of perseverance and patience, but if you’ve made it this far you have proved that you have those traits. Don’t get discouraged now, it will take time for your idea to take off, just keep plugging away and stick to your business plan, reevaluating it every so often. Above all stay optimistic. Remember, starting your own business will take the longest but you started it so you could have the big payoff later on.
Be sure to check out the articles about inventors on the One Stop Invention Shop Site. They all include information on how the inventor sold their product. There are 77 articles and probably over 40 different sales tactics. So increase your arsenal of tactics to increase your chances for success.