At first, being “completely virtual” was liberating. Before I founded Decisive Minds, my life as an entrepreneur (in the family trucking business and then 10 years in Mary Kay), was all about inventory. Either I was moving inventory, or keeping track of my stash of lipstick, blush etc. All that tracking, counting and worrying was a lot of work.
Opening an internet marketing business was a breath of fresh air, I could sell ideas, e-books, and online classes. The fact that there was no inventory was a plus. Nothing to track, plus, now I have extra room in my office 🙂
As excited as I was about the lack of physical products, I realized that having actual items that people can touch and hold is critical. Here’s why.
3 Reasons You Need To Have Physical Product In Your Business
1. Not all of your sales will be online. The one thing that has become obvious to me, is that the “completely virtual” business doesn’t exist. To build my business as quickly as I have, I’ve had to spend a lot of time on the road attending live events, speaking, and networking. It is very handy to have something to sell, and something more than a simple business card to hand to a serious prospect. To this day, a good portion of my sales happen in person. When I sell a coaching program, I love to be able to hand someone a book or something tangible to remind them of their commitment and welcome to the Decisive Minds family.
2. Customer preference. Many of my customers are busy people. They might not have time to sit by their computers to consume my materials. By offering physical products, my customers can pop a CD in their car stereo or take a binder with them to read while waiting for their kids at school.
3. Cutting through the online noise. Have you noticed that you are getting less mail lately? Now that many companies have embraced online marketing, direct mail is becoming more effective than ever because it doesn’t have to compete with a thousand e-mail messages. I’ve started sending people CDs (have you requested yours yet?) so that they can listen away from the computer. The feedback has been excellent so far.
The good news about physical products… it doesn’t have to be hard.
When a mentor first mentioned the idea of a physical product, I was highly resistant. I didn’t want to go back to a stack of boxes in my office. But then, he recommended Vervante. Vervante is one of the sponsors of this year’s Take Action Get Profits live event.
Vervante takes all the pain out of offering a physical product. You upload your graphics, audio, print materials and they produce beautiful binders, CDs and books for you on demand. You can even hook up your shopping cart program to their fulfillment center so orders get filled without your intervention – like magic.
© Copyright 2012 Michele A Scism