Entrepreneurs in medium and small scale businesses need to understand the basic rudiments of marketing in order to succeed in product sales, After the successful inauguration of a product, the entrepreneur is faced with the challenge of selling his products to end users. Experts note that the ability to market these products effectively will guarantee business success for the entrepreneur. They say the extent of success which the product manufacturer will achieve depends on the marketing implemented in the sales of the product.
According to experts, while there are a good number of books one can read about marketing, below are relatively simple, but proven strategy that will teach an entrepreneur how to market a product and grow his sales:
Define your market-Speaking at an event in Lagos recently, the President and Chairman of Council, National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria, Mr. Lugard Aimiuwu, notes that the first marketing challenge which every astute entrepreneur must address is the ability to define or identify his target market. Experts say the entrepreneur must define his market as accurately as possible so as to have a deeper understanding of exactly who he is selling to. For instance, they note that instead of targeting all youths, the entrepreneur may consider working youths with above-average incomes and kids under a certain age limit. Instead of all men, he may choose divorced men in their 40s who earn six-figure salaries. Experts say the more specific an entrepreneur is, the more accurately he will be able to target his sales and marketing efforts, as well as choosing the sales channels that are most receptive to his commodity.
Develop a feasible plan-According to experts, the next line of action is to develop a feasible plan. The plan can be a simple document meant only for the entrepreneur. It is to help him organise and think through his marketing and sales strategy. In the plan, the entrepreneur must be able to specifically outline his goals. Experts say these goals must be measurable or feasible, adding that you should break them down into manageable parts. An example is planning to sell 50 units to end users in 30 days, as well as selling 100 units to local independent retailers within a period of six months.
Evolve selling tactics-This involves the activities which you will embark on while carrying out your sales plan. . The entrepreneur may say he will sell directly to his consumers through a website or via craft shows, for instance. Experts note that this part of the plan may include activities like developing a sell sheet to send to independent retail stores. They note that the entrepreneur’s sales plan should also include the accounts he wants to sell to. If it is end users, for example, he should plan how he is going to reach them through classified ads or through his website.
Get a specific timeline-Experts say the entrepreneur must always fix a timeline for the marketing of his products. They note that he should put dates to all of the above elements so as to define his steps within a realistic timeline. He should not forget that his timelines should be flexible. If he is under achieving, his sales plan can help him figure out why and define the corrective steps he must implement to be able to penetrate the market favourably. Experts say the entrepreneur should follow a proven process for growing sales over time. They note that while it would be fabulous to have advertisers carry one’s product right out of the gate, it may not be realistic. According to experts, most large retailers want to see a track record of successful sales before agreeing to take on a new product.
Sell directly to end users- This will help the entrepreneur learn how to bring a product to the market, experts say. They note that this will give the entrepreneur confidence that there’s demand for his product and will also create reference customers that the entrepreneur can contact for product and packaging feedback before he hit the bigger leagues. They note that the task before the manufacturer is how to and where to reach his end users. The web is one highly effective channel, and you can reach your market through your own website, experts say. They note that you can also tap into your own personal network as you begin. The entrepreneur can also host a home party to share his product with friends and friends-of-friends, sell through local community groups and e-mail his network.
They note that once he gets feedback directly from his customers, he should refine the packaging and price point before approaching his next market, which this time are the wholesalers. The entrepreneur will probably start with small, independently owned, local stores. Experts note that it is a good idea to start with them before hitting larger chain stores because it is easier to get in touch with the direct decision-maker, and they are more inclined to take on new, unique or hard-to-find items to differentiate themselves from larger stores.
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BE SOCIAL SHARE THIS POST WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS BY CLICKING ANY OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA ICON BELOW!To sell to these retailers, experts say the entrepreneur should be prepared and bring a product sell sheet, photos, product samples (if possible) and a succinct introductory letter to explain what is in it for them, highlighting his product’s profit margin, features and benefits, and proven sales record.