I just registered and this is my first post; sorry in advance if i make any mistakes.
The reason i registered here is to find an answer to a simple question: How can i create demand? Here is my case; i will be completely honest and all the numbers i will mention below is correct:
After graduation from the university, i started buying and selling simple things, but it didn`t bring much. One day; my mom suggested me to investigate "silk quilts" ; because she saw a silk quilt in a store that was being sold for USD600. The brand of this silk quilt is high class.
So i investigated the silk quilt market in China; and saw that i can import 1 piece of silk quilt for USD100; every expenses included.
After telling my mom the prices; she believed that she can sell 100 pieces of silk quilt for USD200 to her neighborhood and friends. At that point; i had doubts; because it is an expensive product for 100 pieces, and the advantages of silk quilt is -still- not known.
Anyway; i tought even if she was able to sell them in 12 months; the business sounded still ok. Additionally i have to say that; our family is in middle-high socio-economical class; so are my mom`s neighborhood.
I imported 100 silk quilts; bring them to home, and start waiting.
My mom did an absolutely great work in direct marketing. She phoned her friends; invited them to home to have a coffee, and mention about the silk quilt product (which is imported by her beloved son). She never hesitated. She never felt any shame (to be honest i can never be a sales person).
One by one, she gave the quilts to the possible buyers as samples, and let them try the product first. The feedbacks was great; they were all liked the product and decided to buy. She never asked them to pay the full amount; she let them pay whenever they want. Some of them paid instantly, some of them paid in 1-2 months . Some of them paid part by part.
And miraculously; we were able to take orders from the friends of the buyers. At that point i have to say that we live in a small town and WOM is very effective here. If a woman in a family buys a luxuries thing; her friends are informed about it. The women (35-60 years old, middle - high class) visit each other and they mention each other what they bought recently.
For example; my mom sold 1 silk quilt to her friend; in one month; that customer`s friends` bought 17 more.
One by one; 100 pieces of silk quilts were sold in two months. Now I have only 2 in my hand; keeping them as samples.
I am pushing my mom to import another 100 pieces (from different styles); but she tells that her neighborhood is run out.
How could my mom was able to sell it so quickly? I doubt any of those buyer was looking for silk quilt. To be honest; i believe none of the buyers was planning to buy a silk quilt in the near future. In fact; I believe only a few of them already now that there is a silk quilt product and has advantages compared to its closest competitor (goose feather quilt).
My mom created the demand. She phoned, invited them, told them about the advantages, told them that the same quality silk quilt is being sold in stores in USD600 (and we sell it only for USD200), let them pay later, let them try the product first.
I gave a silk quilt as a gift to close friend of mine to give his mom, who lives in another city and whose family is in similar income segment. After a week or so; her friends` also asked her where did she buy, they also want to buy etc.
I tought to apply the basic rules of internet marketing and start selling the products on the internet. I searched and see that; the same spec silk quilts are sold for USD 250 by an unknown brand (like my brand). I kept following their activites for a month; and luckily see that; they started selling their silk quilts on a private shopping site for a discounted price (USD160); and they sold 42 pieces in a month.
What should i do now? There is an unknown product that has potential. The only thing i need to reach the potential buyers and give the information about the product. This will be a success if were able to reach them the way my mom applied.
I tought about reference sales; i tought to find representatives in each city like my mom; and i tought to give them USD50 for each sale (USD100 is the total expense of the product, USD200 the sales price, USD50 i will give the representative and USD50 is my net profit). But i don`t need a regular representative; i need represantatives like my mom.
So i am confused. I don`t know what to do exactly.
Any comments will really help me making up my mind.