Last week I received an email for a producer asking me if I thought her product would sell. Since this is a question on most producer’s minds, I thought I would share our communications.
Her note said:
I have a question if you could help me: I’ve attached pictures of a sampling of my items, and I am hoping you can tell me if what I make is not going to be popular anymore? So I am hoping to find sales reps …, BUT do you think my items are going to sell – in various parts of the country? Are (my gift items) still something people are looking for …
I wish I had a crystal ball that could tell me what products will sell this year and which will not!! It is so hard to know what the trends will be from year to year — it is a stab in the dark for all of us.
My best advice is to try out some local stores with your products and see how they sell. If they go, they go! If not, maybe you can talk with the store owners to see if they received feedback from customers on your gift line.
Or, find a consignment store, a craft mall or craft show to see how your products sell. Craft fairs are great for receiving feedback from potential customers. Talking with the end consumer may give you some valuable insights into what will help sell your line.
Yes, I would definitely find some independent reps to sell your products if you are scared of that end of the business (not uncommon, by the way, for producers to prefer staying at home/office and do their work!!). Sales reps already have a relationship in place with store buyers that may be interested in your line of products. Shop around before you decide on hiring your first rep to make sure your items fit in with the rest of their offerings.
For more information on working with sales reps, check out the following posts.
Or my popular E-Guide: HOW TO FIND, RECRUIT, and MANAGE INDEPENDENT SALES REPS!