Niche Selling

Filed Under (OP Sales Training) by Don on 30-11-2007

One very positive thing about the office products industry is we never have a shortage of products to sell.  Previously I discussed the importance of using your personality and individual skills to make yourself a standout in the crowd and be more successful.  Niche selling isn’t anything new but it is often avoided or simply ignored.

Niche selling can be a simple as identifying a business segment (such as CPA’s, Lawyers, etc.) and learning everything you can about it and knowing what this type of business needs dictate.  Early in my career of selling I found myself concentrating on law firms.  Like most towns Charlotte, NC has no shortage of attorneys and most of them tend to be concentrated in particular areas.  So it made calling and concentrating my efforts much easier.  However, there are other niche areas that can be significant, especially to your potential earnings.  Commercial office furniture is an area many reps shy away from because it requires time, planning and patience.  In others words it isn’t a simple sale, it requires work!  Another area that is often overlooked for various yet similiar reasons is specialty filing solutions, such as rotary files and open files in medical, legal and other professional offices.  Also custom filing products that may apply to mortgage banking and medical businesses.  Even promotional products (advertising specialty) is an area that has much potential.  If you are willing to do the extra work required and learn about new solutions you too can have a niche market.

To give you an example of how sales people will resist a little extra hard work, a rep from Corporate Express asked one of our sales people if they liked selling furniture.  Our rep said (yes) they did and he replied that he hated it because of all the extra work involved and the time it took to finally make the sale.  The CorpEx rep actually asked our rep for their business card so he could refer interested furniture buyers to them because he didn’t want to be bothered!  Apparently CorpEx employees don’t have any loyalties to the company either, presuming that this is true. 

Once you begin developing this niche market and your business develops, you will find it easier to get referrals and your name will spread as word gets out regarding your work, knowledge and experience in your niche area.  Carefully examine your market and seek out the business needs that others tend to ignore and don’t be afraid to take a chance at something new and challenging.

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