Introduction into… You made it but now : HOW TO SELL IT?
You are a designer? GREAT! You’ve made a new product? That is even better, admirable actually! BUT there is a constant thought and question at the same time in your head… How to sell it? Or more importantly How much to sell it for?
I am writing this after following some discussion on a friend’s Facebook page, where the above question was raised and a lot of people pitched ideas and potential solutions to that question.
Just to introduce myself a little, maybe to create a certain trust in why I am writing and if it is worth reading, I have a 13 year background in sales and design and in this time have moved through different businesses and learned from great people and challenging situations. My last 7 years have been focused in the high end furniture and design business in Romania and CEE region. I was the Regional manager for a High End Furniture producer from Germany for 4 years taking care of the CEE region.
But, let’s get back to our discussion.
A product is great only if it is considered great by its potential customers – this is from a business/financial point of view. On the other hand, a products is great: in the eyes of its developer/designer, other designers and anyone affiliated with that business segment. We are here to analyze the financial aspect so we will only take into consideration that point of view. We have the following points when considering a new product:
- Story behind the product
- Utility/ practicability
All of the above factors are the base for creating that “MOST WANTED” product on a customer’s wish list. In order to make this discussion as real as it could be we will use an existing product which is at its birth on the market.
The Tower Clock designed by Alupoaei Constantin (just as a detail – I witnessed the creative process of Titi(Alupoaei Constantin) and I have to say he is a great designer with an eye for detail)
He is one of the people who understands what a product has to be and to become and how that product should be developed.
SO HERE IT IS:
Tower CLOCK by Alupoaei Constantin
Product looks great! It is practical! It is solid wood! … What is the RRP (recommended retail price)?
We have to take into account several factors which will ultimately define our RRP!
Where do you want to sell it? – What market – the buying power of that market is very important as well as the market share (the group of people who represent the potential clients).Lets take Romania as the market for this discussion. Romania, at least statistically, is a poor country where clients are few and the middle class almost inexistent. I have to say that I do not believe or trust the statistical information provided for Romania but at the same time I think it is almost impossible to make a clear, complete statistic concerning money, status or buying patterns in Romania. So, we will take into account reality and personal experience when creating the “sketch” of the Romanian customer. That customer can be 15 up to 60 years old , can be educated or not, can be employed or not, driving or not, home owner or not, wine/whiskey/tea/coffee and/or tuica drinker, and the list could go on. That should have enlightened you…J just kidding, but the above selection factors are the real question marks in today’s market. There is no pattern, or better said the number of people (potential customers) which would fit in a statistical pattern is very, very low.
I am just thinking that if we analyze in such detail every aspect of our discussion I might as well write a book. Better to restrict and filter everything to make it simple.
Let’s just say that we want to sell this product in Romania – the decision on how to sell it, through which channel is up to you. The approach is different every time, with every retailer or boutique. We will continue by saying that we want to place this product in 2 shops (as a start), one in Bucharest and one in Cluj Napoca. Also have the product on 2 websites: one is an online shop and the other is a promotion based sales platform.
HOW DOES ONE APPROACH THE SHOPS? What do you need?
Well, first of all you need to have the speech or written version for points a/b/c/d/e/f/g …J You need to know, love and adore your product before you can present it to anyone. The passion both as a designer and as a sales person can be felt by anyone in a discussion. Prepare your presentation considering any possible question someone might ask you. Check out the shops, what they are selling, any customer reviews that you can find to understand who their customers are, any information which you can use to your advantage which you can use to show someone that they will benefit from selling your product not just financially but by generating clients who could shop more on a long term loyalty relationship. Customer loyalty is not a popular thing in Romania but it could be taught and it will become an important factor in the long-term for any business. If you have convinced them on the product it all comes down to … surprise…the price! You need to create the financial value of your product: if there is any similar product on the market (globally) you can get an idea from that but if not , you have to forecast you entire product life spam – introductive price offer(birth stage), long term price level and occasional special campaigns/offers up to the end of your products life spam when you have to re-invent or launch a new one.
THE PRICE – my own evaluation of this particular product is:
– Great design with practical value
– Solid wood
– Beautiful details
– Desirable – as a design piece, as an entrance solution, as an accessory in an interior
– Demand- people need this! Whoever is looking for an interesting wall piece; I see it being used in a big variety of interior styles; I also see it in a bistro/boutique/lounge, etc.
– Marketing – you can either invest some money which you will calculate as a percentage in the final BP(buying price) or agree with the buyer to give them an extra percentage if they achieve a certain sales target based on their own(proven) marketing campaign
– I can see this product being packaged in a carton box with a print on the front – the sketch of the actual front of the product – with a detailed info box on the back together with the story
I would rate this product as 799RON –
- RRP 799 RON
- Promotional price – price per piece if bout in set of 2 OR price for a limited time – 649RON
- BP for resellers – 500RON and during promotion or for a larger order(up to 50pcs) =
BP-20 %( 400RON)
- Yes, I did take into account the productions costs and “the talent cost”
With all these said, I have to come back to the market situation and separation. If it is intended to be sold only in Romania it will be a rough and tough road to travel. My suggestion is sell it EU and maybe market it in the US as well. For the EU I have some contacts which can be useful and would be glad to help TITI . There are shops which can be contacted directly, mainly you can check via internet which shops sell what and find those which sell similar products. Contact them. Tell them with the same passion as mentioned above about you product. Take a risk and send them a sample (preferably you should have a leaflet/catalogue presentation for this to send together with the product) call them and ask their opinion even if it is a negative one – LEARN FROM THIS!
I am looking at my laptops screen and I can see that I have already written 4 pages…and there would be more to say and write probably for an entire book.
Let me finish this discussion with the following statement:
In sales there are so many factors to be taken into account for each product, with every customer in every country BUT passion and dedication can be ‘read’ by every customer or anyone you speak to and it will sell!