Blast from the Past - Making the Introduction has been added to SUDSOL

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Blast from the Past - Making the Introduction has been added to SUDSOL

Sandra Collett

Introducing your customers to new products is just a matter of timing.

Getting a customer to try—and love—a new product is a similar process to teaching a child to eat and enjoy new foods. But you can’t just keep putting a new product in front of a customer time and time again and hope that someday they’ll buy it. Getting a customer to buy a new product is all a matter of education and timing.

There are certain stages customers go through as they decide whether to buy a new product (called product adoption).

At this stage, your customer doesn’t know much about the product and may not be interested in learning any more about it. Generally, customers aren’t ready to buy at this stage, but they’re probably interested in knowing more.

Most customers need to know more about a product before they buy, and you have many opportunities to educate them about new products.

Your customer has learned what she wants to know, and she decides whether the product interests her enough to try it.

Now she is deciding whether the product lives up to its reputation and whether it meets her needs. Make & Takes and classes are excellent ways to give your customer a trial of the product. She can get it in her hands and actually use it and determine if it’s what she wants.

Your customer buys the product. And—we hope—she’s so happy with it that she buys more in the future.

Knowing which stage your customer is in can help you determine when to offer a new product. For example, let’s say you want your customers to buy the Big Shot machine. Chances are, by this time they’re all aware that the Big Shot exists (awareness stage). Some of them may have been online and have seen projects and product offerings (interest stage) but they haven’t decided if they want to buy it (evaluation stage). You could offer a Make & Take at a workshop that uses the Big Shot. As you do this, you can cover several stages at once.

Demonstrate it while you explain the features and benefits (interest stage), and then let your customers use it to create their Make & Takes (evaluation and trial stages).

Keep in mind that a customer who says “no” may really mean “not now”—maybe she’s just not at the adoption stage yet. So don’t give up; she may need some help getting through all of the stages. And remember that you also go through these stages of product adoption each time a new product is introduced. As you progress through these stages, you can help your customer through the stages as well and lead her to try great new products.

I think this article is a great reminder of how we deal with new product and for me a great example is the Stamparatus. Initally hesitant, once I had it in my hands, I became passionate about using it, and my customers have followed with enthusiasm because I helped them become aware, and guided them through the trial and evaluation processes. Maybe you can relate to this, and if you want to read the full article from March 2009, you’ll find it here:

That’s it from me, til next time.
Sandra Collett
Blast From the Past Co-ordinator