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How to sell innovation

The market may surprise you by its response because customers are different now.

In Summary

• The era where you make a product and pleasantly surprise the customer with an extravagant product unveiling is gone. 

Innovation-Growth
Innovation-Growth
Image: FILE

In the innovation narrative, ideation is easy. There is no shortage of good ideas. It is common to see new products hitting the shelves; some take off while others don’t do so well. Here, the sales approach makes a difference.

The era where you make a product and pleasantly surprise the customer with an extravagant product unveiling is gone. The market may surprise you by its response because customers are different now. They have been empowered by information technology and they can easily find alternative solutions. So, surprising them with your ‘amazing’ product is really not a good idea in the twenty-first century. So how do you effectively sell your idea? Here are four tips.

Research current solutions: As you develop your idea, do you know any product or service out there that is offering the same solution? Or, are you trying to reinvent the wheel? Take some time to do your research on what is working (or not) in the market place. Try to understand the kind of solutions out there. Know if you have competitors and understand what they have brought to the market. This would help you rework your ideas for unique results.

Find the gaps: The market is a noisy place. So, if you don’t have a unique approach or strategy, you may drown in the noise. One way to avoid drowning is to clearly identify the gaps in the market and then, start thinking of ways to close these gaps. The challenge is usually a clear identification of the gaps. If it’s unclear, then your strategy would be unclear as well. Do your best to cut the noise by very clearly knowing what is lacking in the market or space in which you wish to play.

Engage customers: Earlier, I explained the danger of surprising customers with your new ideas. Here, I’ll take it further. Instead of surprising customers, how about getting them involved in the product development process? As you develop your idea, find ways of getting customers involved. Talk to them about what you’re doing. Get them to test it as you build it. Ask for their input and they will gladly help you.

Sell through engagement: As you engage customers through the product development process, they become poised to buy your product when its finally ready. You made them part of the story and they would appreciate it by paying to enjoy your product or service. Good customer engagement ends with good sales. Remember, selling is a relationship.

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