How to Choose Which Safety Products to Promote
by Matt Johnson, on Mar 31, 2016 3:43:14 PM
If there is more than one way to do something so specific (and shocking) as skin a cat, then it must certainly be true with something as complex as choosing which safety products to market. The options available are nearly boundless, so how does a company make such an important decision?
Throwing darts is one option, but it leaves too much up in the air. The obvious answer here is research. Doing your homework helped in school and it helps in business, too. But in both scenarios the question still looms: what should we study to be best prepared for the big test - campaign, catalog, or website launch?
1. Your Sales Records
Whether you want to help out an underperforming product or rely on a frontrunner, your ERP system can provide you with all the information you need. A current trend in business is to ignore weaknesses and focus on strengths, but there is a time for both. Perhaps your target market does not even know you sell certain products; focusing energy to let them know could make a low-earner perform significantly better. Using both may be a better answer, but the key here is to make an informed decision based on the data that is readily available.
2. Listen to Customer's Requests
There are several ways to figure out what your customers want. The data is available, but it is hard to sift through the clutter, and training and time must be allocated, unless you take this route. You must define your customers and learn how to reach them, but after that, grabbing their attention by offering a solution to their needs is essential.
3. Most Profitable vs. Broadest Reach
This is not as cut-and-dry as it sounds. An exotic animal seller might make the most profit from selling a rhinoceros, but fewer people are in the market for rhinos as, let’s say guinea pigs. In the safety industry, promoting a hard hat that nets you 10¢ might not be a good idea, unless you feel that you can sell thousands at a time. Conversely, an electric generator you can realistically sell one hundred of, at most, should be skipped unless the return on each makes the effort worthwhile. There is a sweet spot in almost every market, and the key is finding that perfect product.
4. Market Demand
So you’ve studied your accounts, considered your customers’ needs, and even brought the two together to try to find the perfect safety product to promote. This is where we should stop focusing at the micro level and look at the broad picture. Utilizing the more suitable of industries mentioned above, the landscape of the safety industry fluctuates with every new standard that ANSI and OSHA come up with, along with many other outside forces. Keeping up-to-date with what’s going on could give you a step on your competitors. Keeping a pulse on social media or signing up for industry-specific newsletters will help.
5. What Products Are You Passionate About?
Using the criteria above, you should have weeded down your list of products you want to promote to only a few. If there are still several items that fit the profile of a marketable product from the standards above, then one final gauge should be your own feelings. Does one product or brand pique your interest more than any other? This will make the process more enjoyable.
Though you can never be guaranteed success, making an informed decision using the criteria above will push things in your favor. Be confident in your decision and remember that every mistake along the way is a lesson to be learned.