In the words of Colonel Hannibal Smith from the A Team “I love it when a plan comes together!“. About 3 years ago I was doing some initial consultations for the Triton Foundation (a former semi-government organisation that helped inventors commercialise their products where there was genuine commercial merit). Needless to say that the vast majority of inventions never got pass the reality check stage that I was responsible for – with a couple of exceptions. The success story behind one of them forms the basis for this article.
When I first met the inventors Jo and Amanda, they were struggling to understand how to best sell their invention to the marketplace in commercial quantities, given their finite time and resources. Once I realised that their product was not yet another ‘left handed screwdriver’ and that they were genuinely nice people that just needed a push in the right direction, the solution became obvious – they needed to get their heads around the concept of how they could leverage off a ‘pull-through‘ sales strategy!
So What is a Pull-through Sales Strategy?
The simplest definition I can conjure is to ‘create an automated demand for your product via someone up-line or down-line from you in the sales process’.In other words, ensuring someone else is motivated to create the demand for sales of your product because they themselves will somehow benefit creating a win:win:win situation (my favourite outcome).
Let me attempt to explain. In this case, (to quote their new www.tighton.com.au website) the product is a comfortable, non-slip armband that can be worn for hours of activity, in and out of the water, keeping you valuables safe and dry. There is enough room to fit your keys, cash, credit cards and most types of mobile phones. Certainly saves leaving them unattended while you enjoy what ever it is that you are in to?
On it’s own, that makes it a useful product and they have some basic cool designs available for the public to buy online. The ability to brand the TightOn with either Club, Association or Corporate Logos makes for a great fundraiser (they will negotiate a special deal with you) and the real power comes into play when the pull-through concept kicks in!
Brands Need to Get Access and Profile
Imagine you want to attract corporate sponsorship and we all know that in return for their almighty dollars, they will want to get visual profile. It is important for Corporates to be visually seen to be sponsoring their community and they want their sponsorship to last longer than a helium balloon!
By giving the local Surf Lifesaving Club the ability to sell the product as a fund raiser, it will have some success and no doubt be supported by the usual loyal members and their families. By getting a corporate sponsor to donate to the club or better still give away to all the members their CO-BRANDED TightOn armbands, you can have a literal army of your target market parading their support to everyone that they come into visual contact with.
Just imagine if the ‘hot-bodied’ Life Guards were all wearing them, how long would it take until every tourist purchased one to feel like they belong and to show their support for such a worthy cause?! Now that would make for some smart gorilla marketing and once one club is doing it, how long until the others want to get in on the act?
Commercial Quantities Verses Individual Sales
I am sure that if you can see the benefit in buying a Tight On armband for yourself or your kids, Jo and Amanda will be happy to sell you one online and have it delivered. What they would really appreciate is access to a smart Brand/Sales/Marketing Manager that wants to get significant profile demonstrating their support for their designated sport or community based group. I can see these being a long lasting marketing tool to gain access to Surf Clubs, Beach Volleyball, Cycling, Hiking, etc, etc and the list goes on! Anywhere in fact that keeping your valuables on you safe and dry while being active would be considered desirable?
Rewards for Your Ideas and Contacts
Now I know my subscribers are a creative bunch and have a multitude of contacts. I will give a prise to every person that helps Jo and Amanda establish a new commercial relationship. I’m sure that they will be more than grateful as well so there may just be another reward depending upon the successful outcome of that introduction?
Feedback and Comments
I would love to hear your stories and thoughts about where you have seen a ‘pull-through’ sales strategy successfully creating a win:win:win outcome. It is possible to achieve in almost every industry and for nearly every product or service (with a bit of creative thought). It is not always about branded products and marketing initiatives, I have been able to establish many variations of this concept over the years through my clients and would be happy to share those with you in future articles. They have been some of the most profitable and long running sales strategies I have ever initiated!
Thanks for your ongoing support and happy selling!