How can I create demand?

11 replies
Hey Guys;

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.
#create #demand
  • Profile picture of the author fcf360
    This has all the potentials to be a good network marketing business. But, then again, much more established retailers could easily beat you as well since they have much more cost efficiency. No matter how successful it would be, it would only be a small niche business. And from that standpoint, you really have to decide for yourself if it's worth pursuing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    Congrats on your business sense. I'm not going to give you advice on how to sell silk sheets because it's not my area of expertise but one thing I'd like to pick up on...

    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).
    This is a good take away point for anyone involved in IM. These people were not actively seeking silk quilts, it probably hadn't even crossed their mind to buy one but when one was put in front of them they bought. It's a bit like marketers who think that unless people are actively searching on Google for a product then they are not interested in buying. That's not necessarily true. Think of TV and radio ads, the people who see / hear them aren't SEARCHING for information but the ads are targeted at particular people and demographics and through the idea being put in front of them they go on to buy. With IM just because people aren't looking on Google doesn't mean there's no demand or that's the only place to make sales. If you work out your demographics and then find out where they hang out online (forums, blogs, social media etc) and put adverts directly in front of them (PPC, Banner Ads, forum sigs etc) you can make sales from people not actively searching for your products.
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    • Profile picture of the author pokerboy
      Originally Posted by RockingLastsForever View Post

      Congrats on your business sense. I'm not going to give you advice on how to sell silk sheets because it's not my area of expertise but one thing I'd like to pick up on...



      This is a good take away point for anyone involved in IM. These people were not actively seeking silk quilts, it probably hadn't even crossed their mind to buy one but when one was put in front of them they bought. It's a bit like marketers who think that unless people are actively searching on Google for a product then they are not interested in buying. That's not necessarily true. Think of TV and radio ads, the people who see / hear them aren't SEARCHING for information but the ads are targeted at particular people and demographics and through the idea being put in front of them they go on to buy. With IM just because people aren't looking on Google doesn't mean there's no demand or that's the only place to make sales. If you work out your demographics and then find out where they hang out online (forums, blogs, social media etc) and put adverts directly in front of them (PPC, Banner Ads, forum sigs etc) you can make sales from people not actively searching for your products.
      Thanks for your advice.

      This is also what i tought; to study carefully of demographics and try to reach them online.

      But; the market is Turkey; and most of my target population is still offline here.

      My mom sold those quilts to 54 different people; and i can easily say none of those people (35-60 years old, married, middle-high income segment) spent their just one minute on internet. They never bought nor searched a product online.

      I have to reach them.

      Of course; combined with a proper IM ; it will be much more successful.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    IT is always more difficult to create demand than to
    discover a demand and then build a product to
    satisfy that demand. So you did take a big risk
    in ordering all those quilts.

    But I would say that if quilts are being sold for $600
    then you should be able to sell a lot for $200.

    You need to find another market on eBay, Craigslist,
    or some other marketplace. See how many people
    are advertising on Google Adwords for silk quilts and
    then you can have a good gauge of the market.

    Good luck,

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author Rainmakermc
    Creating demand takes a lot of work and promotion. People generally won't buy until they have seen a brand or product at least five times; unless they are actively looking for a solution. If you are set on promoting quilts, then jump into forums and figure out exactly who your ideal customer will be. What they want, what they like and what they will spend money on. Then, begin promoting your products to that group.
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  • Profile picture of the author Victor Edson
    I would put newspaper advertisements in local
    papers to find people to sell your quilts.

    You could even look at going to bigger cities and
    selling through a vendor who already has a
    shop in a big market.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheInfoMarket
    You're off to a great start. If you want to expand business, you should do it offline and online.

    You could expand your offline marketing, with local ads and building up to having a representative in major cities.

    For online; by selling your items on eBay and Amazon you will find that buyers will come to you, especially if you price competitively. So you don't need to create the demand. If the demand exists it should come to you.

    As you mentioned your tagert market in Turkey, is mostly offline, so you really need to target internationally and be prepared to sell to other countries to have a chance at making this work online. Though you need to take into account how much international shipping costs will affect your ability to price competitively.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by pokerboy View Post

    How could my mom was able to sell it so quickly? I doubt any of those buyer was looking for silk quilt.
    No, it sounds like none of them was looking for a silk quilt. But they were people who had a trust-based relationship with your mom, who was a credible person to them. So they were willing to look.

    Originally Posted by pokerboy View Post

    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.
    She's a "natural". (She'd be extremely good at some kinds of network marketing).

    You can maybe do the same thing in other areas if you can find enough people like your mom. But that's not going to be easy at all, is it?

    In the long run, it's better to find out what people are already looking for and finding a way of supplying it to them. If you can do that well enough, you don't need to keep finding people like your mom (which is much harder!).

    Originally Posted by pokerboy View Post

    How can I create demand?
    An economist would tell you that "enough supply creates its own demand", and there's some evidence that that's true in "live markets". It seems somehow to contain some truth even in markets as screwed up as Cuba, according to this book: Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics (O'Rourke,...Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics (O'Rourke,...

    But it's not going to be easy, doing it that way round. To expand that business, you need to find exactly the right people, I think.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    Thanks for your advice.

    This is also what i tought; to study carefully of demographics and try to reach them online.

    But; the market is Turkey; and most of my target population is still offline here.

    My mom sold those quilts to 54 different people; and i can easily say none of those people (35-60 years old, married, middle-high income segment) spent their just one minute on internet. They never bought nor searched a product online.

    I have to reach them.
    You are telling me that no 35-60 year old, married, middle income people spend their time online??

    I'll tell you that you are wrong. If you know the demographic of the type of people who buy these things already all you have to do is track down that demographic online (and they exists somewhere, trust me) and get some adverts in front of them.
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