Sell What You've Got

Many businesses spend all their time preparing the next best thing to sell that they fail to realize the value of selling what's right under their noses. I don't care if it's hard goods, food, software, or even advice, selling what you've already got is far more profitable than dumping time energy and capital into a shiny penny.

It's Only Old to You
As the marketing director of a housewares company, I repeatedly endured the chant of salesman praying for a new item. Customers, they said, were bored with the same old products. The truth was that the same old products were actually only two-years on the scene and doing quite well. It was the salesmen who were tired of the same old products. They had touted the same benefits so many times that their own lack-luster pitch was mirrored in the bored faces of their customers. An amazing thing happened whenever we brought on new sales talent who hadn't seen our product line. They got excited. That energy transferred into their sales presentations. Customers got excited. Sometimes, the same old customers got re-energized about the same old product.

Keep It Fresh
Stop! I didn't say repackage it. Rather, go back and read the ad copy from when your product first hit the market. Look over an early Power-Point touting your bread-and-butter business solutions. Take a little nostalgic trip back to the month or year when you sat staring, jaw gaping exclaiming, "This is great!" How did you pitch your software before you had any testimonials to post on the web site? When you reconnect with what you saw as great about your product, you start to tap a source of energy that comes out in your sales presentations, in your copy, and in your revenue.

You may have read some of these titles: Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, The Greatest Salesman in the World, or How to Win Friends and Influence People. They're such mainstays of the business library that most of their best lines have become cliché. We hear them repeated and shrug them off the way we tried to disregard our mother telling us to be good. But have you run into someone who has just read one of these for the first time? It's like a new world of amazing possibilities has been opened to them. They're excited, and that excitement is contagious. If we are going to succeed with our business products and ideas, we need to capture that same excitement and put it into action.

Don't get me wrong; innovation is a driving force in nearly every market. Selling what you've got, however, still has a lot of profitability to it.