Monday, January 16, 2012

Buy the stuff that sells, sell the stuff they buy.

So let's say you have a store full of stuff and it isn't selling.

What do you do?

Here's the kind of advice I imagine you would get if you threw that question out to world.

1.) Lower prices to sell more. Have a "Sale!"
2.) Advertise more. Let people know what you have.
3.) Promote more. Instead of spending money on ads, do it with events and other efforts.
4.) Provide more free service. Give them more for their money, expand your "Open" hours, give the customer free events and services.
5.) Move to a better location, a bigger location.

And so on.

In my opinion, all the above are wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

If you have a store full of stuff that isn't selling, fill it with stuff that WILL sell. Stuff that people are willing to pay full price for. That will bring them in during normal hours. And that --if you carry it-- knowledge will be spread by word of mouth.

You don't have to get rid of what you have, but search for the product that will sell. I can almost guarantee you, there is something just around the corner, something tangential but not opposed to what you already sell, that might do better. Or-- if 3 product lines aren't enough-- add a 4th. And so on.

The problem probably isn't your service, or your prices, or any of the other things experts will tell you.

The problem is that you don't have product that people want enough to buy.

O.K. I know I've simplified it somewhat, but I'll stand by it. Do the math. If you need to sell to 1000 people, but what you sell only sells to 1%, and you have 90,000 population base, you will fail.

You need to have a product that sells to enough people that you can sell it. If you don't, then carry a diverse group of product that WILL sell to enough people.

I'm not saying it's easy, but having the right product is the best solution.

1 comment:

Duncan McGeary said...

Obvious, I know. But sometimes I think the obvious needs to be pointed out amongst all the puffery and bombast.

It isn't easy to get the right stuff. Lots of trial and error. Lots of financing issues -- display issues -- finding adequate wholesalers and price points and so on and so on.

But -- if you are retail, your job is to sell product or services.