Preparedness or “not right now” products are a tough sell. The majority of shoppers will not buy what they do not feel an immediate need for. I have sold many items on both sides of that line. Items that people need now, ones that are strictly “just in case” items and ones that cross back and forth over that line like air conditioners and heaters. The easiest items to move out of the warehouse are ones that solve a person’s immediate problem–products that step in and say “Here you go, no more discomfort or inconvenience. I’ve got this.” This has been a brutal winter for the US. Noah (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) warned us half way through 2013. They told us that this winter would be long and cold. We all felt the Polar Vortex that swallowed our country a few weeks ago. Weather maps of the US looked like you could ski from Tallahassee to Seattle. I sold heaters by the truckload. Then, we had a short respite. Temperatures nationwide went up by about 10-15 degrees. 20 degrees became 40 and heater sales slacked. I shook my head knowing what would happen. 10 days later, the temperature plummeted again as I warned my customers it would. All of a sudden, people wanted heaters again. Even with the recent ice hanging from their eves as a reminder–even with the calendar reading mid-January, the moment people felt more comfortable, they stopped buying. The second it got cold, those same people ran to their phones and computers to grab a heater, kicking themselves for not getting one a week earlier so it would arrive by the time the thermometer plummeted. I have seen this trend a thousand times. People buy mosquito repellant as they are scratching their bites, shelving when the pile on the floor becomes to much to bear, an iron when their wrinkled shirts get sideways looks from others and lights when they have been stumbling around in the dark. It is a commonality in the world of consumerism. Insurance salesman have a tough job. I am not suggesting this is a wrong approach to buying. Certainly not. If we bought everything we might need instead of what we do need, there wouldn’t be enough money on Earth to pay for it all! I am merely pointing out that if you are a vendor and you are looking for the next blockbuster product to source or manufacture, your dollars are safest when invested in products people can use right now to solve a problem they are currently suffering from. That’s not to say that preparedness products do not sell. With the right benefits and pricing, they can go like hotcakes! But, you need to create a more compelling offer to make it happen. It has to be virtually painless for your customer to part with their cash because your offer is just that good. In about a month, I will begin selling Lawn/Garden products. It will be well before the ground thaws and the ice melts. These products will sell because people are tired of winter and siked about the idea of jumping into spring. Most products will fly out the door due to simple enthusiasm. In August, clothing stores clear their shelves to sell all the latest winter fashions–right in the middle of summer heat. In February, they will do the same with tank tops and shorts, while snow still blankets the north. Why? Because people get excited about change. They look forward to a break from the mundane. Like a person who anticipates a vacation and packs a week early. Certain products can sell before people actually require them. But remember, you almost need a natural or cultural phenomenon to create those sales. Without excitement and anticipation of something much larger than the product itself, consumer motivation is tough to find with a “not right now” product.
Post has no comments.