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Sell Wide, Sell Deep
By: Developer Shed
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    Sell Wide, Sell Deep
    by Kevin Nunley

    Here's one of the most durable marketing rules, one that's been
    around for years. It's good advice for any business. If you want
    to sell lots of products and services, if you want to expand your
    business with loads of eager new customers--sell wide, sell deep.

    Let's look at this timeless rule of good marketing. It's full of
    ideas and inspiration that can fatten your pocketbook rather quickly.
    The best ideas are ones that help you work smarter, not harder.
    Here's how "sell wide, sell deep" works.

    "Sell wide" means offering lots of products or services that follow
    a basic theme (for example: all things offered by a printer). "Sell
    deep" means finding lots of good variations on a successful product.

    Let's say you have one product or service that customer after
    customer is ready to plunk down money to buy. You start thinking
    "If I had ten products just like that one I'd get rich." If you've
    got a glazed donut that is the hottest breakfast item on your
    downtown lunch cart, why not expand on the idea? Offer a glazed
    with frosting. Then offer those frosting flavors in chocolate,
    maple, strawberry, maybe even cherry. That's selling "deep."

    Now offer different kinds of donuts and related items like muffins
    and coffee. Give your customers choices of old-fashioned donuts,
    cake donuts, buttermilk, donuts with sprinkles, and donuts that
    commemorate an upcoming holiday. That's selling "wide."

    Many businesses find a big increase in revenue when they introduce
    customers to a low-priced product, then step them up to increasingly
    more involved and expensive products or services. Customers are
    ready to spend more for more advanced services as they come to
    trust and rely on you.

    If you aren't able to provide extra products or services yourself,
    contract with others to provide them for you. Many web site owners
    swear by their "back page" items. You can easily offer your
    customers lots of products and services supplied by others at
    very little cost to your own company.

    How To Find a Winner...Then Go Wide and Deep.

    All businesses start out with some idea of what they want to sell.
    In the beginning you develop a few promising products and services
    and put them out there to gage the public's interest. Some products
    work, others don't, and sometimes you get a request out of left
    field that turns into your most important profit source.

    When I started my business, I thought that handing out marketing
    advice would be my bread and butter. Before long, someone asked me
    to write a press release. It never occurred to me to be in the
    press release business, but as soon as I put "writes press releases"
    on my web site, I got dozens of orders. Presto, a new profit source.
    I expanded it into lots of customized variations. Press releases to
    be sent via email, releases for regular mail, releases intended for
    major magazines and newspapers, and releases intended for email

    The product line soon went wide and deep, much to the delight of
    clients who were looking for just the right service tailored to
    their needs.

    Listen closely to what your customers and prospects are saying.
    When they talk about a problem they have, think of it has a hint
    for another product or service you can offer to solve that problem.
    Those unexpected suggestions are your most important opportunities.

    Simple Research Gives You A Head Start.

    You don't have to wait for customers and prospects to suggest new
    products and services. Ask them in clever ways that get them thinking
    for you. "How did that work for you? Was it as effective as it could
    have been? What problems are you having that we might be able to solve
    for you?" Customers can often see things that people inside the
    business don't realize.

    You've seen people conducting surveys in the mall. That kind of
    research isn't very good from a statistical standpoint. You can't
    get reliable numbers and percentages from it. However, you CAN use
    simple research to get ideas for new products and services. Just
    like some restaurant chains, give customers a short questionnaire
    to fill out. Have them leave their comments for improvements or
    new services. Reward them if you can with a discount or free offer.

    Home-grown research, from entry forms on your counter to spending
    time on the phone with a prospect, can show you new ways to expand
    your successful products and services. Sell wide, sell deep to
    make more money.

    Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice and copy writing for businesses
    and organizations. Read all his money-saving marketing tips at Reach him at or

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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