Prepare for Selling By
Fully Understanding Your Market
No matter how good a salesman you are, you won’t succeed just because you are a positive thinker. Before plunging into the sales process, you need to determine if indeed there is a market for your products or services.
Take a good look at your product or service from an objective standpoint. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this product or service in constant demand?
- How many competitors provide the same service or product?
- Can I create a demand for my product or service?
- Can I effectively compete in price, quality and delivery?
- Can I price my product or service to give me the projected profit?
Once you are satisfied that these questions are answered, move on to performing market research. It should provide you with data on the following
- Shows alternative approaches to your market.
- Provides a more accurate base for making profit assumptions.
- Aids in the organization of marketing plans.
- Assists in the development of critical short/mid-term goals.
- Breaks down your market’s profit boundaries.
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs fail to complete this critical section of their market plan. Collecting research data can be frustrating unless you have defined your goals and organized the collection and analysis process. To prevent this from happening, you must plan how you will collect, sort and analyze the information. Maintain a notebook and file in which to store, organize and retrieve data as needed.
Questions To Ask
Your research should ask these questions:
- Who are your customers?
- Where are they located?
- What are their needs and resources?
- Is your service or product essential in their day-to-day activity?
- Can the customer afford your service or product?
- Where can you create a demand for your service or product?
- What areas within your market are declining or growing?
- What is the general economy of your service or product area?
You need to sell aggressively, but you’ll do best when you thoroughly understand your market. Market research is simply an orderly objective way of learning about people — the people who will buy from you.